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••3k, 


For a CHINAMANS 
COLD 


The MAN 

with FOUR LEGS 

. 


$10,000 or 

it WE KILL YOUR SON 







Follow This Shadow/ 

G O ALONG step by step with operator 38 in tracking down 
the crook. See how a crafty detective works. How he 
finds the telltale finger prints— how he tricks the suspect 
into leaving his prints on the silver cigarette case. More ex- 
citing than fiction, yet true, every word of it. No cost or 
obligation. Just mail the coupon for— 

Confidential Reports ' 
of Secret Service 
Operator No* 38 


FREE 


Address . 


And the best part of it all is this. It may open your eyes to the great 
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needed right now. This school has taken men just like you and trained 
them for high official positions. This is the kind of work you would like. 
Days full of excitement. Big salaries. Rewards. 

Many Earn $2500 to $10,000 a Year 
You Study at Home in Spare Time 

No advance education is needed. Any man who can read and write, 
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who solved them. We’ll send you a FREE copy with the free 
reports. Get the special offer now being made. Mail the coupon. 

University of Applied Science 

1920 Sunnyside Ave., Dept* A-143, Chicago, Illinois 


UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCE 

1920 Smmyside Ave., Dept. B-143, Chicago, nrmoii 

Gentlemen:— Without any obligation whatever, send me 
the Free Reports of Operator No. 38 and your new, fully 
illustrated Free book on Finger Prints. 


Name.. 


... Age.. 


1 


True Detective Mysteries 

(^authoritative advice 
concerning feminine hygiene 

~by a physician who is a specialist 
in body grooming for evetyday people 

/! 



On page 89 

Dr. Sutton makes 
3 important statements: 

One douche a week is 
plenty for a healthy woman 

Avoid any strong prepara- 
tion (carbolic acid, bichlo- 
ride, etc.) 

. . . Where an antiseptic 
is desired, Zonite may be 
used . . . 

(Wc are pleased to give credit 
to Dr. Sutton’s book which 
contains .100 pages of advice on 
the care of the skin and hair.) 


! important statements 
Zonite is not a poison 
Zonite does kill germs 


Use Zonite Ointment 
for burns, scratches, 
sunburn, etc. Also as a 
powerful deodorant 
in the form of a van- 
ishing cream. 


e 

W 

E 


N obody realizes so 
well as the physi- 
cian just what the rela- 
tion is between beauty 
and hygiene. Nobody 
knows so well as he, 
just what can be accom- 
•lished by careful "body-grooming.** 
)r. Irwin C. Sutton, formerly of the 
Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins Hos- 
pital, has given special attention to 
lygiene of this nature, particularly in 
the case of women. It is, therefore, in- 
teresting to note the recommendations 
he makes in his new book entitled 
"Good Looks." 

Dr. Sutton, like most physicians of 
today, is heartily in favor of feminine 
hygiene as a healthful routine, and 
recommends a douche at weekly in- 
tervals. As an antiseptic to be used for 
this purpose, he names Zonite. 

This is natural enough, because Zonite 
combines certain qualities not found 
together in any other antiseptic. In the 
first place, Zonite is effective. In the 
second place, Zonite is absolutely non- 
poisonous. And in the third place, its 
action is immediate. 

Zonite safe compared with 
poisonous compounds 

Most people know Zonite chiefly as 
the great World War Antiseptic, which 
saved countless lives in the Allied 
Hospitals in France. But since that 
time it has become the Great Family 
Antiseptic of America, and among its 
many uses, this service for feminine 
hygiene is not the least important. 
Women are learning more and more 
the dangers of using poisonous anti- 
septics for this intimate purpose. 



7bnik 

*** the Great, family 


At all drugstores 
In bottles 
25c, 50c and %l 

Full directions in 
every package 


They are learning of the 
mercurial poisoning that 
may follow the use of 
bichloride of mercury — 
^ the hardening and scar- 
ring of delicate tissues 
that often follow the 
use of carbolic acid compounds. Not 
to mention the dangers of accidental 
poisoning, especially with children in 
the house. 

In germicidal strength, Zonite is forty 
times as effective as peroxide of hydro- 
gen and actually far more powerful 
than any dilution of carbolic acid 
which can be applied to the human 
body. 

Send for free booklet which is 
frank but scientific 

Zonite can now be obtained anywhere 
in the United States, even in the 
smallest town which has a drugstore. 
Full directions accompany every bottle. 
But if you want a copy of the special 
booklet devoted entirely to the subject 
of feminine hygiene, write to us for it, 
using the coupon below. Wc shall be 
only too glad to mail it to you, with 
extra copies for your friends if you 
want them. This booklet is authentic, 
clear, frankly written and attractive. 
Don’t forget to use the coupon. 

ZONITE PRODUCTS COMPANY 
230 Park Avenue 
New York, N.Y. 

n & 

!F X 14-C 

i mnmrm-z 2amz 

I / PRODUCTS 

/ COMPANY 

£ .7 / rgw" 250 Park Avenue 
H/ ST New York, N. Y 
( J j Please send me free copy at 

"> / i * the Zonite booklet or book- 
Jy'Vk. M I* lea checked Wow. 

0 Feminine Hygiene 
0 Use of Antiseptics in the Home 
PU*Jt Print Nsmt 

Name ................... T — 

Address . 

- Sate 

(In Caoada 165 Duflcnn St., Toronto) 



True detective mysteries 


Vol. VII 


A MACFADDEN PUBLICATION 

JULY', 1927 


No. 4 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

WHO IS TO BLAME? An Editorial by George William Wilder 9 

FOR A CHINAMAN’S GOLD Carl Easton Williams 11 

Doctor Bailey stent a night with a dead yellow bedfellow and made an amazing discovery 

REVEALED THROUGH A NEEDLE S EYE W. Adolphe Roberts 15 

Here is the truth about private detectives — and why people po to them 

THE RIDDLE OF THE GRINNING SKULL Frederic O. Schultze 18 

Long after death, that mute collection of bones held the secret of a terrible guilt 

‘•$10,000 OR WE KILL YOUR SON” Isabel Stephen 22 

,4 Payl — or we will return your son to you in pieces in a box’ '* 

“IF HE’D LET THE OTHER FELLOW’S GIRL ALONE ” Edwin A. Goewey 26 

The clue of an old photograph brings to light startling facts in the sensational boarding-house murder 

INTO THE LAND OF HAPPY DREAMS Bernard G. Priestley 29 

This detective was sent to a dope addicts’ orgy to get evidence. In that death-trap he 

DID THE CAMERA LIE? James A. Stapp 33 

It has been said, "A murderer inevitably leaves a clue ” In this case 

THE SEVEN WHO DIED .... By One Who Lived 36 

Will “ Roulette " be able to escape from that institution for the insane — from that house of living Hellt 

W r AS THIS WOMAN CRAZY ? Elynore Baker Quinn 40 

A timid, shy professor undertakes to solve a murder 

CONFESSIONS OF A CONFIDENCE MAN By One of Them 44 

IVhat happens when a group of grifters attempts to victimize a con man 

THE NIGHT RIDERS FROM HOTTENTOT Detective John A. Fogarty 48 

Through the night they rode, this trio bent on the murder of a woman 

THE MAN WITH FOUR LEGS Allan Van Hoesen 52 

When he plied his trade he had two legs, but when he robbed his victims he had four 

OF SPECIAL INTEREST 

THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS— Who the Writers Are and What They Are Doing 4 

Cover Design from a Photograph of Mabel Scott and Harry Carey in Pathe’s “The Frontier Trail 0 


I 




Featured in August TRUE DETECTIVE MYSTERIES 

are: 


THE MYSTERY OF THE VANISHED 
CAR 

Two boys step in where experienced 
detectives fear to tread. 

THE CLUE THAT CAME THROUGH 
THE AIR 

Why should a woman want to murder 
her own baby? 

ELEVEN STROKES 

The mystery of the hour dropped from 
eternity. 


ON THE TRAIL OF^ T HE SHOP LIE TERS 

A woman detective’s own story of her 
experiences with “boosters.” 

THE GIFT OF THE TROJAN 

An unwritten chapter in the history of 
royalty, and of an attempt to assassi- 
nate them. 

THE PROBLEM OF THE DISHONORED 
CHECKS 

Detectives had to find a man with 
twenty names, to stop a series of dar- 
ing thefts. 


There are other stirring, true, fascinating detective stories in the August issue 
that make it one of the best collections of Summer reading on the news-stands. It’s 
out July 15th. Order your copy in advance. 


i 


PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY NEW METROPOLITAN FICTION. INC.. 18410 JAMAICA AVE., JAMAICA. N. Y. 

Editorial and General Offices: 1926 Broadway. New York. N. Y. 

Edwin E. Zoty. President M. A. Wood. Secretary 

Copyright, 1927. in the United States, Canada and Great Britain, by New Metropolitan Fiction, Inc., 1926 Broadway, New York City 
Entered as second-class matter March 20th , 1924, at the Post Office at Jamaica. New York, under the act of March 3rd, 1879. Additional entry at New York, N.Y. 
Price 25c per Copy. Subscription price $2.50 per year in the United States and possessions; also, Canada, Cuba, Mexico and Panama. All other countries 

$4.00 per year. All rights reserved 

Chicago Office: 168 N. Michigan Ave., C. H. Shattuck. Mgr. London Agents: Atlas Publishing & Distributing Co., Ltd., 18 Bride Lane, London, E. C. 

All manuscripts and drawings are submitted at the owners’ risk, although every effort will be made to return those found unavailable 
The pictures used in this magazine to illustrate the stories are of actual people, but are not intended to be a likeness of, nor to depict 
the individuals named in such stories . unless such pictures are specifically labeled 


2 


Printed in the U. S. A. by the Edward Langer Printing Company, Jamaica, New York City 


True Detective Mysteries 


3 




An actual photo of a small part of one of our nine department* 


C OYNE can and does make men elec- 
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Where 1000 Young Men 
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By Actual Work . , .in 90 Days 


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The Amazing Oppor- 
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These are some of the reasons why Coyne 
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why our Employment Department secures 
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$100 a week 

Many of our graduates 
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success. One month after 
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accepted a position with 
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Clarence Ackland. living 
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day 1 am making more 
money than ever before in 
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56 Pa 
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I d M =1 


150 Photographs 


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FREE R*R. Fare to Chicago 

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r future. Simply mail the 
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Mr. H. C. Lewis, Pres., 

COYNE ELECTRICAL SCHOOL, Dept. B7-62 
1 300 W. Harrison St., Chicago, 11L 

Dear Mr. Lewis: . , , ,, 

Without obligation send me your big free catalog and all 
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COYNE 


ELECTRICAL SCHOOL ! Name — 

H. C. LEWIS, Pres., Dept. B7**S J A ddress — 

1300 We Harrison Sc., Chicago, Ille ■ CUy State 

Founded 1899 — 



4 


True Detective Mysteries 


v H/20aDay 

without Experience 



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You Can Make Big Money Too 

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time. 


Here’s My Amazing Money-Making Plan 


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7372 Monmouth Avo. v Cincinnati, Ohio 


AMERICAN PRODUCTS CO. 
President and General Manager 


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©A.P.Co. 


(Please Print or Write Plainly) 


THIS MONTH’S 
CONTRIBUTORS 


ROSWELL BAILEY is frankly the 
nom de plume of a successful phy- 
sician who prefers to remain un- 
identified. His story, “For a China- 
man’s Gold,” beginning on page 11, 
was supplied us by Carl Easton 
Williams. The worthy doctor spent 
some years of his early life under 
frontier conditions, in Montana, 
Arizona, and Alaska. He was at 
one time Company Physician in a 
great mining camp, and this story is 
based upon an episode in his many 
colorful experiences. 

STEPHEN MARTIN ,a uthor of 
“The Man With Four Legs,” ap- 
pearing on page 52 of this issue of 
True Detective Mysteries, is a 
veteran detective of wide and varied 
experiences. At the time this country 
declared itself “in on the Great War,” 
he put aside his blue uniform as a 
member of the Metropolitan police 
force and donned the khaki of a 
volunteer for Uncle Sam. Soon 
after reaching France, he was trans- 
ferred to the intelligence branch of 
the service and won a citation for ap- 
prehending men and women from 
America who were operating as spies 
in London and Paris. Following the 
war, he was in the United States 
Secret Service for a time, then re- 
joined the New York police force as 
a detective. Many policemen in vari- 
ous places have been designated as 
possessing “camera eyes.” None de- 
serves this distinction more than 
Stephen Martin. Once he has had 
opportunity to study a criminal and 
note his characteristics, the impres- 
sion is preserved for all time. In the 
current story he tells how this gift, 
plus logical reasoning and the ability 
to use his imagination — a quality too 
often lacking in most police depart- 
ment detectives — enabled him to cap- 
ture two unusually daring and re- 
sourceful crooks. 

RICHARD MORGAN says his 
chief stock in trade is his appearance, 
for no one looks less like a detective 
than he does. In his story, found on 
page 15 in this issue, he gives a brief 
description of himself and his habits, 
which makes his claim convincing. 
He was born in New Orleans and 
came North at the age of twenty. 
He joined the New York Police 
Force, but was thoroughly unhappy 
in a uniform. “I hate being 
tagged for what I am,” he asserts. 
“I enjoy mystifying people, leading 
( Continued on page 6) 




True Detective Mysteries 




--the man who 
nas trained and 
helped many 
thousands of 
other men Into 
Big - Pay elec- 
trical jobs. 


$65 A DAW 

•‘Dear Chief: 

If it hadn't been 
for vour won- 
derful Course I 
wouldn't now be 
making as high 
as $65 a day. It 
makes me proud 
to have your 
Diploma. And 
tK'licve me I am a booster for your 
Course." — Jacob Lentz 

223 1st A vc., Hillsboro. Ore. 

£ S7S A WEEK! 

Dear Mr. Cooke: 
•*I was working 
In a store for $18 
a week when 1 
started your 
Course. Then I 
began doing 
Electrical Work 
in my spare 
time. Now I 
average as much as $75 a week." 

James Wollaston 
104 Robin St* Dunkirk. N. Y. 

YOU CAN 
DO IT; TOO 


$100 A 
MONTH IN 
SPARC TIME! 

Dear Mr. Cooke: 
*'l am making 
out fine. Have a 
shop of my own 
tow, making at 
least $300 a 
month spare time 
besides my 82 He 
an hour daily. 

Leo C. Woe lk era 
1332 Jefferson, 
Scranton, Pa. 




Money** 

SjECTRICITY 

0 ahead and feel bad for yourself — go 


learn 

at home 


raheadandfeelblueaboutthepoorpay 
, meet! But don’t blame anyone but 
yourself when thousands of men no smarter 


$3 L 

ftear 
and 


than you earn $70 to $200 every week in the 
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$25 or $35. They had no special luc 

^ * r-»i 1 1 1 * * n r\ r\rr>iri/-tnc <»vn«rionm I Dill 


FROM 65c AN 
HOUR TO $12 
A DAT I 

Dear Mr. Cooke: 

"A short time ago 
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Cooke booster." 

_ Robert L. Komi 
217 S. Maple Ave* 
Newkirk, OkU. 



NO EXTRA 
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6 


OUTFITS 


pull” — no previous experience! But they 
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Maybe it sounds too good to be true — 
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Mail coupon for it this very minute! 

L. L. COOKE, 

Chief Instruction Engineer 

L. L. COOKE SCHOOL 
OF ELECTRICITY 

Dept, h-B, *150 Lawrence Ave. 

Chicago, III. 


FREE BOOK COUPON./ 


The "Cooke 'Trained Man Is the'BigPay"Man\ 


L. L. COOKE, Chief Instruction Engineer 
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Name 

Address. •••••••••••«••• 

City State 

Residents of Canada may send this coupon to R. A. Farrow, Special 
Representative, 7 Med bury Lane, East. Windsor, Ont* Canada, 4 






6 


True Detective Mysteries 


TRUE MONEY 

Making Opportunities 


{Copyright 19*7 T. Al-F Co.. Room 70S. SSS Ft/tk Am.. N. Y. C. 

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orders for famous Fashion Wear Shirts. Startling new 
selling-plan— attractive FREE outfit — complete line — 
low factory prices. Write quick for outfit and FREE 
shirt offer. Fashion Wear Shirt Co., Drawer A-3. 
Cincinnati. Ohio. 

l»o You Want To Turn Your Spare Time to 

account? Then write me. I guarantee you $5.00 an hour 
for EVERY hour you give me, whether It is one hour a 
week or forty. Address Kales manager. 844 West Adams 
Street. Dept. 101. Chicago. 

MYSTERY FLUID Mends Socks. Shirts. Sheets. 
Curtains and thousand other articles In a few seconds. 
Bolls, washes. Irons, without injury. 100% to 200% 
profit. Free outfit. Write quick for big special offer. 
Make $18 to $30 dally. New-Way Laboratories. Desk 
N-l, Mt Healthy. Ohio. 

AGENTS: Write Quick. Samples And Auto 

furnished. $17.50 dally plus bonus. Introduce new line 
hosiery guaranteed 7 months. New sure-fire selling plan. 
Start on credit. Samples furnished. Betterknlt Textile 
Co.. Dept. K-101. Greenfield. Ohio. 

LOOK NO FURTHER! HERE’S YOUR MONEY- 
MAKER. Write for Harrison's New Shirt Outfit. Big 
samples. Fine portfolio absolutely free! Tailored Shirts 
generously cut. Reinforced. Handsomely finished. 
Made like custom-tailored shirts, but sell quick at 
amazingly low prices. No experience or capital neces- 
sary. Write for territory, and FREE EQUIPMENT. 
Harrison Shirt Co.. Drawer Cl -2. 133 W. 21stSt..N.Y.C. 

Jack Ames Earned $24.00 In Hour With Amazing 
pants presser. Puts in knife edge crease. Removes 
baggy knees. Takes few seconds. Big profits easy. Pay 
dally. Experience unnecessary. All men buy. Exclu- 
sive territory. Getgey-Jung. Dept. T8-2. Cincinnati. O. 

Women! Earn $3 to $6 An Hour In Spare Time. 
Display beautiful Fifth Avenue dresses to friends. Fac- 
tory prices. Cash commissions In advance. Pleasant 
work. Experience unnecessary. Write for free details. 
Fifth Avenue Styles, Dept. 1001. Scranton. Pa. 

Make $20 Daily Selling Taylor Made-To-Measure 

cape. Every man buys. Some want 2 or 3 caps. 7 other 
profit-makers. Complete selling outfit FREE. Write 
for yours quick, also FREE CAP offer. Taylor. Cap 
Manufacturers. Dept. U-2, Cincinnati. Ohio. 

$100 WEEKI.Y REPRESENTING LARGE - <*$IkRT 
company — direct to wearer — wonderful opportunity for 
financial independence. Big commissions— easy to take 
orders— we start you with a snles-compelllng outfit free. 
Write at once. Supreme Shirt Co., Desk TS-2, 276 
Fifth Ave.. New York City. 

Sell Men's Hosiery. Wonderful Side Line. Profits 
$5.00 to $15.00 dally. Largest exclusive men's hosiery 
company direct to wearer. Large selections, amazing 
low prices eliminate competition. Complete selling out- 
fit. FREE. Superwear Hosiery Co.. Desk 24. Minneapolis. 
Minn. 

YOU ARE WANTED. Men— Women, 18 Up. U. 
Government Jobs. $05.00 to $250.00 month. Steady. 
Short hours. Vacation. Experience unnecessary. Com- 
mon education sufficient. Applicants coached. 32 page 
book with full particulars FREE. Write today sure. 
Franklin Institute. DepL K-93. Rochester. N. Y. 

Go Into The Crlspctte Business: Everybody I. Ikes 

them. You can make a lot of money. Gordon, of N. J. 
reports $4000 profits in two months. We start you. Write 
for Facts. Ix>ng-Eaklns. 787 High St.. Springfield. O. 

Amazing Lwrge Clash Commissions Introducing 

famous Style-Arch $3.95 and $4.95 "Shoes. Unique arch 
support. Finest leathers. Latest styles. $90 to $125 
weekly plus share profits. Write quick. Style-Arch 
Shoe Co., Desk T-101. Cincinnati. Ohio. 

Great Neckwear Line Now Free To Salesmen. Big 

money maker, full time or side line. Features finest 
quality neckwear at factory prices. Collect big commis- 
sions dally. Write for FREE tie offer and FREE outfit. 
Nawco Neckwear. Desk 7-U. Covington. Ky. 

Men — Women. $1.80 An Hour — No Less. Large 
Mfg. Co. Est. 30 yrs. starting new Medallion dept. 
Amazing new sales plan. First 22 agents averaged $1.80 
an hour steady. Only 1 agent wanted In locality. Your 
OWN PHOTO FREE as sample. Art Medallion Co.. 
Chicago. III. Campbell Ave. at Jackson. 

EARN $25 Weekly. Spare Time. Writing For 
newspapers and magazines; exp. unnecessary. Copyright 
Book. "How To Write For Pay.** FREE* Press 
Syndicate. 1307 Bell Telephone Bldg.. St. Louis. Mo. 

All Men -Women, 18-50, Wanting To QuailfF'For 
Forest Ranger. Railway Mail Clerk. Special Agent, and 
other Govt. Positions. $140-$250 month, home or else- 
where. write Mr. Ozment. Dept. 137. St. Louis. Mo. 

Zip! Zip! Zip! Boy. How Profits Roll In When 
you sell amazing new foot-control Zipper-Dimmer. Fits 
all cars. Makes night driving safe. 90% of car owners 
buy. $17.00 to $35.00 a day easy. Zlpper-Dlmmcr 
Company. Dept. A-10. Lorain. Ohio. 

AGENTS MAKE $3.00 HOUR TAKING ORDfcR.^ 
for 40 fascinating "Handy Things" for the Kitchen. 
Every one practical, useful— sells on sight. No compe- 
tition. Write. General Prod.Co., Dept.TG-1. Newark. N-J. 

1 1° J HE FUfcLIC: Walcoina the representative), of tbo firm, 
1 ,,l f d ahajto. They off or you merchandise value, and a eonveo- 
| lent service that you cannot duplicate elsewhere. 


THIS MONTH'S 
CONTRIBUTORS 


( Continued from page 4) 

the double life, and ferreting out 
secrets.” He resigned to become a 
private detective and met with rapid 
success. He is considered a master 
at arranging compromises of the kind 
he describes in his story. On one 
occasion, he pursued an absconding 
bank cashier to North Africa, dis- 
guised himself as an Arab sheik, and 
rounded up his quarry in a Sahara 
oasis. There he forced the restitu- 
tion of three-fourths of the stolen 
money, but did not make an arrest. 



Amelia de Santis, whose splendid work 
as a detective has been written in “On 
the Trail of the Shoplifters,” in True 
Detective Mysteries for August. 
Don’t miss a good one! 




Anita improves 
nasal appearance 
by shaping flesh 
and cartilage to 
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Gold Medal 

IMS 


ANITA C0„ Dept. G-25, Anita Bid*., Newark, N. 4. 


$12in60 Minutes 

Stick-a-Lite means $270 cash profits In 9 
days for Hunt. I’ll t#U you how h* 
did lit. How hundreds of Stick-a-Lite 


Stick-a-Lite 

Magnet-in-base Auto Trouble Light 

No selling talk needed. Takes a 30 second 
demonstration to put $1.50 profit in your 
pocket. You don’t need an auto — Use the 
customer’s car. Show how Stick-a-Lite sticks 


with an 8-pound grip at any angle, leaving 
free to work. A powerful spot 
Sell every auto driver. Big 



both bands free to work. 

light too. Sell every < _ 

srason ahead. Save time, ■•nd $2 deposit for 
demonstrator. Money back if returned in 15 Days. 
Or write for Free Stick-a-Ute offer, quick! 

Premier Electric Company 
Dept. 238, Grace St., at Ravenswood, Chicago 



Mahet45 a Weefe and up 
Cash profits paid ta advance. 

No question about It. any man can J 
easily earn $45 a week and up. just I 
showing our wonderful outfit and I 
taking orders for our high-grade tai- 1 
taring. Never before such low price* ^ 
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sake this I 
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$15 a day fulltime. Thousands of our repre- 
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famous World*# Star Hosiery, Under- 



Rayon Lingerie sold direct 
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m Complete selling equipment furnished 

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WORLD'S STAR KNITTING COMPANY 
1577 Lalio Street Bay City. Mick. 


COY T POSITIONS 

05 TO *75 WEEKLY 


( ) Railway Mail Clerk ( ) Meat Inspector 

( ) Sp 

) Stenographer-Typist 


> Special Agent 
(investigator) 
Stenographer-! _ _ 

i Immigrant Inspector 
I City Mail Carrier 
i U. S. Border Patrol 

► Typist 
) Seamstress 
) Stcno-Secretary 
i Auditor 

Mr. Ozment. Dept. 497. St. Louis. Mo. 

Send me particulars about positions marked 
”X’’ — salaries, locations, opportunities, etc. 

Name 

Address 


) P. O. Clerk 
) Forest Ranges 
) File Clerk 
) Matron 
) General Clerk 
) Chauffeur-Carries 
) Skilled Laborer 
) Watchman 
) Postmaster 
) RFD Carrier 



True Detective Mysteries 


7 








O.C. 

MILLER 
Director 
Extension 
\Work , 


Draftin' 


will make 
this contract 
with you — 


—to prove you can learn at home in spare time l 

We have invented a new, simplified way to teach Drafting — the first real im- 
provement in Drafting home-instruction in history. We want you to see it, try it 
— without one penny of cost or obligation. We want to show you how we get 
away from the copying methods used in the past. See how we make you think, 
solve problems, do actual drafting room jobs jrom the first lesson I 

Draftsmen Wanted! **60 to **125 a week! 


AMERICAN SCHOOl 

-Ihe Million Dollar 
Educational InHitutio* 


4 . or we’ll 
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HEN you enroll for our home- 
training in Drafting, we agree to 
give you: 

1. Complete Drafting training, by 
the new Practice-Method. 

2. Professional Drafting Outfit, as 
illustrated. 

3. We will help you get a good 
Drafting position at a substantial 
increase in pay, 


The American Schools, 
a million dollar No-Profit Edu- 
cational Institution, now offers 
men a double service — training for 
a specific job, then finding the job 
For one small price, on terms of only 
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information — today . 


No machine can be built 
until the Draftsman first 
builds it on paper. My 
training prepares you for 
this work. 


Never has the world seen 
anything like the building 
boom or today. This has 
rested enormous demand 


created < 

far real 


Draftsmen. 


70,000 fine jobs advertised last year. Get ready to 
fill one. Get out of the rut. Make something of your- 
self. Plan your future in Drafting. Even if you have 
only common schooling, even if you know nothing of 
Drafting, we guarantee to make you a real Drafts- 
man or to refund your money t Special surprise offer 
right now to the first 500 men who answer this ad 
— reduced price, easy terms. Coupon brings com- 
plete information. 

qA new, rapid, simplified training 

Copying drafting lessons prepares you to be only a 
“tracer.” This new “Job-Method” gives you actual 
drafting-room jobs in a new one-step-at-a-time way. 
With pictures which you can understand almost 
without reading the “lessons.” And that is why the 
American School-trained Draftsmen can qualify for 
a good job at big pay when they graduate. 


FREE 

Job Service! 

The American 
School now offers 
its students and 
graduates, with- 
out cost, the ser- 
vices of an effi- 
cient employment 
department keep- 
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touch with em- 
ployers of Drafts- 
men all over the 
U. S. We have 
placed hundreds 
of men in good, 
big-pay Drafting 
positions. We’vo 
made this train- 
ing so complete. 
bo practical, so 
easy to master, 
that our students 
are bound to make 
good. And, so, be- 
cause the demand 
for real Drafts- 
men continues to 
exceed the supply 
and because this 
training actually 
prepares men for 
good Drafting po- 
~ : * 1 , back It 


WIN SUCCESS 
'thru DRAFTING 

Drafting is easy, fascinating 
work. Short hours. Big pay. 
And theDraftsmanisahvays 
in line for promotion to 
executive positions. This 
training is complete . It 
includes high school sub- 
jects ( i f y o u need them ) 
and all the Engineer- 
ing and Mathemat- 
ics Drafting experts 
require. 


BIG-PAY Branches 

! The big money in Drafting goes to 
men who specialize in Machine 
Design, or Electrical Drafting, or 
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merely to know general Drafting prac- 
tice. You must know how to calculate and 
design and plan original work. You need 
many Engineering subjects to fill the kind 
of a Drafting position that pays $60 to 
$125 a week. The American School itow 
includes this specialized training in its 
Drafting course . 


Coupon Brings 3 Lessons 

FREE! 


Get them. Test your own abil- 
ity to learn Drafting and get 
ready for a fine job and big 
pay. Coupon also brings sur- 
prise offer, and complete 
information aboutyour op- 
portunities for success in 
Drafting. Mail it Today! 


Electricity needs Drafts- 
men who know Electrical 
principles as well as gen- 
eral Drafting practice. I 
give you this training. 


The demand for Drafts- 
men exi>erienced in con- 
crete and structural steel 
work is enormous. Many 
big-pay positions open. 


Every great Auto factory 
employs Draftsmen who 
specialize in Automotive 
work — men who design 
bodies, plan engines, etc. 


Costly Drafting 
Outfit Given! 

Fine, imported instruments like 
these help you learn Drafting 


With a Free Em- Quickly and easily. These standard quality, full size in- 
payment Service. struments, board, table, triangles, T square, ink, pro* 
tractor, etc., given to every student without extra cost. 

O. C. Miller, Director Extension Work Dept- DB-264 

AMERICAN SCHOOL 58th St. , Chicago 


O. C. MILLER, Director Extension Work 
AMERICAN SCHOOL 

Dept. DB-264, Drexel Ave. & 58th St., Chicago 

Rush 3 Free Drafting Lessons. Job Service and Raise 
Offer, complete information, money-back guarantee, 
etc., to prove I can become a real Draftsman at home 
in spare time. 

Name 


Street No. 
City 


State. 




8 


True Detective Mysteries 


*100aweek 

DoYouWantlt? 




JUST OUT! AN AMAZING ADVANCEMENT! A 
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Astoundingly low priced! Only $9.95. Think of it! 
It’s an unequalled clothing value! 

What does it mean to you? It means a gigantic oppor- 
tunity to make BIG MONEY — If you act quick! It 
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means independence — prosperity ! Read on and 
learn the facts! 

Amazing Suit $ 9.95 

This suit is welcomed by office and factory workers — 
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What These Men Have Done 
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There’s an enormous call for the Comer Work Suit. Over 
15.000.000 prospects in the country. Why, you can think of 
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I need help. I never sell through stores — only through rep- 
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made $9.00 in three hours! And M. L. Trantham earned $6.00 
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You don’t need experience or capital to cash in my way. I 
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one could be had before. This profit-producing plan never 
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them develop business. 

A An irk Don’t let a chance like this escape you! 

■ ” MIWI It’s the chance of a lifetime to make 

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>upon for details of this remarkable proposition and FREE 
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i 

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-318 Dayton, Ohio 

_____ _ — M 

■ m ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ “ ■ 

Hornes in tnree colors— - ~ Pres. _ ^ . 

tan. gray, and brown. ■ The Comer Mfg. Co., Dept. Z-318, Dayton, Ohio 

Herringbone | please send FREE sample outfit for $9.95 suit, complete instruc- | 
P e r f ^ t S fi? PP r ? yle * ■ tions and details of special GROUP SALE PLAN! Tell me how I 

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iiMilf:ifTTTT^W __— ' -I————— 


Are You 
a 

Detective? 

qpRUE DETECTIVE 
1 MYSTERIES maga- 
zine invites you to send in 
the histories of cases that 
can be run in this magazine. 
Undoubtedly you have had 
experiences which you feel 
at liberty to put on paper 
for publication. This mag- 
azine wants them. 

In building a detective 
magazine that is founded 
on fact, we recognize that 
there is no more prolific or 
sensational source of infor- 
mation than the detectives 
who work on cases them- 
selves. From time to time 
we have carried stories of 
cases handled by well- 
known detectives. In this 
issue you will find another 
notable collection. Why 
should not your story be 
one of them? 

For all stories we accept 
we shall pay from $25 to 
$50, depending upon the 
importance of the case. 
Don’t concern yourself 
with literary style; we want 
the facts and the truth — 
told in your own words. 

Are you a private investi- 
gator? A secret-service 
agent? A post office in- 
spector? An amateur detec- 
tive? Write out your most 
sensational case — your 
biggest case — your most 
baffling case — and send it 
in for our consideration. 




True detective mysteries 


JULY 


A MACFADDEN PUBLICATION 


1927 


Who Is to Blame? 


By George William Wilder 


F ROM a large State in the East comes the news that a four-year-old boy 
shot and killed his mother with his father’s revolver. The motive for the 
crime, so far as the authorities can determine, is that the mother 
objected to the child playing with njatches. 

It was Springtime. The mother, industrious, anxious to get from life all 
the bounties that would help her and her family, was in a garden, planting 
seeds. The child crept up behind her, leveled a pistol at the back of her neck, 
pulled the trigger, and fired. Death was instantaneous. 

A County Coroner questioned the child. “Where did you learn to shoot 
a pistol?” And the answer came: “I had a toy pistol once. And when I saw 
my papa’s real gun on a shelf in the kitchen, I knew it would go off.” The 

child further remarked: “And now I’se can get matches.” 

/ 

Who is to blame for this atrocious crime? The parents of the child? Is 
the child old enough to reflect the spirit of the times, the contretemps , as it 
affects modern youth in modern youth’s general disregard of convention and 
law? Does the responsibility lie with producers and manufacturers of chil- 
drens’ amusements? Are newspapers to blame — newspapers that don’t scruple 
to paint crime attractively? 

Who is to blame? 

Parents, there’s a powerful message for you in the experience of this child 
and his gun. Remember always that children, brought up in a peaceful atmos- 
phere, living a life of health in sunshine and the out-of-doors, are bound to 
develop healthy bodies. In a healthy body there must be a sound mind. And 
in a sound mind, young or old, thought of major crime never can lodge. Take 
thought — that the blame may never be yours. 


9 





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Madame Jeannette, The Pompeian Laboratories, 
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Please send me free samples of Pompeian 
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Name. 


Address. 
City 


Powder shade wanted. 


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You can prove the Battering things 
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Beauty hhioder 
urd'GLoorn 




This pearl necklace 
was worth a king's 
ransom. Crafty 
Sing Ling became 
interested in it — so 
did Sam Wong. 
A nd when these two 
crafty celestials met 
in deadly combat — 


For a 



CHINAMAN’S GOLD 


H atless, coatiess, 

the farmer dashed 
out of his house 
and ran across the 
highway just in time to 
signal an approaching au- 
tomobile. He shouted something as it raced past, ignor- 
ing him. The next car did the same. The fifth car slowed 
up to hear what he said; the driver shook his head and 
went on. Seventeen cars passed before an open car with 
the top down, containing several young men, slowed down 
doubtfully, hardly expecting to stop. The man seemed 
desperate. 

“Doctor— -doctor ?” called the farmer as the big machine 
rolled past. 

One of the young men reached forward to touch the 
driver, saying something that induced the latter to pull up 
to a quick stop. The young man leaped out and ran back 
to the farmer. 

“You a doctor ?” asked the farmer, in doubt because of 
the evident youth of this most kindly of the passers-by. 
“No, I'm a reporter/’ 

“Good God — I don’t want a reporter. I want a doctor !” 
“There’s a doctor in the sedan behind. We just passed 
him — Doctor Roswell Bailey. He’s a great surgeon. Fll 
stop him. What’s the matter ?” 

“Someone shot. But I don’t want a reporter.” 


“Can’t help it now — the 
reporter goes with the 
doctor. Hey, Joe,” the 
youth shouted to the 
driver, running part way 
to the car. “Stop the doc- 
tor in the sedan — the next car ! There’s a story here.” 
Whereupon the driver of the touring-car pulled square 
across the road, the doctor’s sedan stopped, and shortly the 
fanner, the youth and the doctor together went into the 
house. 

Hr WO hours later the doctor said to the young man. as 
A the latter hung up the telephone receiver: “You can go 
back to New York with me, if you like. Unless you’d 
rather stay here.” 

“I’ve no desire to stay here,” replied the reporter. “Thank 
you ever so much. I’ll come out again to-morrow. But 
someone should stay.” 

“Why — why should anyone stay?” 

“Well ” The youth hesitated. “They are taking the 

husband into custody. He’ll at least spend the night in 
town, in jail, even if he can manage to get clear.” 

“Oh, it’s perfectly clear that the Italian shot the woman 
and then killed himself,” said the Doctor. “My examina- 
tions show it. The letter proves it. The husband is just 
out of luck. Still, they’ll hold him tiH morning.” 


By Doctor Roswell Bailey 

As told to Carl Easton Williams 


11 



12 


True Detective Mysteries 



IT was a night such as one does not forget — away out in a 
* lonely prospector’s cabin up in the mountains. 

I was assistant company physician of the 
Stony Creek Mining Corporation, and on this 
particular night I had to 
take a trip up into the hills, 
fifteen miles or more, to 
attend a Chinaman who 
had been shot. I didn’t 
care to go. but that’s what 
a doctor’s life is — the call 
of duty at any hour of the 
day or night. I re- 
member that it com- 
menced to rain just 
after I started out, 
and I had to get out 
the poncho from one 
of the saddle bags. 

But, at that, the cir- 
cumstances and com- 
plications of the affair 
made it interesting, 
and gave me some- 
thing to think about 
on the journey. For 
I couldn’t get it out 
of my head that this 
shooting of Sam 
Wong, the laundry- 
man, was somehow 
closely connected with the 
thing that had happened in 
town that evening — the dis- 
appearance of a $250,000 
string of pearls. Why, even 
the very idea of there being 
a string of pearls in that God- 
forsaken place was curious 
enough, if you ever saw 

Stony Creek. A necklace like that was about the last thing 
that one would ever expect to see there. As a matter of 
fact, it wasn’t seen — not very much. It was the disappear- 
ance, as I said, that had us guessing. 

There was a stranger in town, a suspicious character, 
supposed to be Frisco Irish, although he said his name was 
Frank Ingram, or something like that. A Chinaman by 
the name of Sing Ling ran a restaurant and chop-suey 
place, both American and Chinese foods, and along with 
that, in the up-stairs rooms, he was understood to run some- 


a hand through the broken 
window 

admitted this much to the Sheriff when Frisco was found 
in an up-stairs room quite dead to the world. Sing Ling 
also admitted that he had frisked his patron — had gone 
through him while he was stupefied with the drug, and so 
had discovered the pearls. He admitted that it was his prac- 
tice to do this — oh, not for the purpose of stealing any- 
thing his customers might have; no, no! — but just for curi- 
osity. If they had six-shooters, it was good to take the 
bullets out — much safer if they would get excited, later. 
But, as to these pearls, when Sing Ling once got his 


“But we can’t leave two dead persons alone all night in 
this house,” insisted the reporter. 

“Why not? Nothing can harm them — now.” 

“Well, but — well, it isn’t done ! Someone always stays 
with a dead person.” 

“Out of sentiment, yes. But there’s no other practical 
reason. Do you want to stay — and watch them?” 

“Me? You couldn’t hire me.” 

“Tut, tut,” laughed the Doctor. “You’d be right on 
the ground for the rest of the story. You say it’s your 
scoop. And you can get a nice quiet sleep.” ’ 

“Sleep?” The scribe registered astonishment. 

“Why not?” 

“Thank you, Doctor, but III be very grateful ” 

“All right, hop in. At that, they’ll send out someone to 
stay. But it reminds me,” added the Doctor, as they settled 
themselves comfortably in the big berline' and the chauf- 
feur put the car in gear — “reminds me of a little experience 
of mine when I was a young doctor. You’re a reporter. 
It might even make a story.” 

Doctor Bailey’s story follows, as he told it to the young 
reporter (myself) : 


thing of a dive, including an opium den. The Sheriff felt 
that he was a bad egg, and suspected some association with 
the underworld of San Francisco, but Sing Ling was pretty 
smooth. It was hard to get 
anything on him, and so long 
as his place was orderly it did 
not seem necessary to bother 
him. 

If the stranger was really 
Frisco Irish, the underworld 
party that he was thought to 
be, probably with the drug 
addiction common to his 
class, it was only natural 
that he would see Sing 
Ling for the purpose of 
hitting the pipe. Sing Ling 


13 


True D etective Mysteries 


fingers on them, he admired them with delight, holding 
them up by the light to look them over for a couple of 
minutes. But while doing this — so he said — he noticed the 
door was opened a slight crack, and he thought he 
saw someone's eye peeking in. Sing Ling laid the 
necklace on a little table which stood close to the 
window, but by the time he crossed the room to the 
door and looked out the owner of the spying eye — 
if any — had vanished. Sing closed the 
door, ami this time fastened it, and 
commenced a further search of the 
pockets and clothing of his guest. 



It was a couple 
of minutes, or 
possibly five min- 
utes, after he laid 
the pearls on the table and fas- 
tened the door, and while he was 
in the act of making a final in- 
vestigation of Frisco’s pockets, 
that Sing Ling got the impres- 
sion of someone reaching a hand 
through the broken window. 
Quickly the Chinaman wheeled 
about — in fact, too quickly, and without 
sufficient care, for he had the misfortune 
to knock over the candle near him and 
throw the room in darkness. 

Sing Ling said he was so astonished at what 
had happened that he lost a few seconds reach- 
ing around for the necklace in the dark, and he 
lost another few seconds searching for a match, and then — as 
was not surprising — he found the necklace had disappeared. 

The Chinaman, in his imperfect English, said that his 
mind was confused by all this. Certainly his report of the 
matter was much more confused than stated above, but as 
given it is about the meaning he sought to convey. It 
seemed strange, too, that Sing Ling would be so careless. 
A $250,000 necklace ordinarily should not be left on a table 
by a window, where there is opportunity for a hand to 
come through and take it. 

The Sheriff, having traced the suspicious stranger, Frisco 
Irish, to Sing Ling's place, entered the restaurant, and was 
met by Sing Ling, who told him the above story. 

Then the investigation began. Of course, Frisco Irish 
didn’t have the pearls. Then there was the questioning of 


Sing Ling himself alxnit the whole affair before anyone 
investigated the outside of the building to see if there were 
signs of a ladder or a rope. By that time any instrument 
of that kind employed would naturally have been removed. 
The ground was sandy, so that footprints, or even ladder 
marks, were not in evidence. A ladder belonging to the 
company, and usually left at the back of the store, was 
found in its place; it might or might not have been tem- 
porarily removed and returned. 


Hr HE Sheriff was not ready to believe Sing Ling’s story, 
* and accused him of treachery. He locked him up, along 
with the sleeping Frisco Irish, Charley See, the chef, and 
three or four other Chinese boys who served as waiters 
and dishwashers. Customers were searched, then ordered 
out, after which a painstaking examination of the place, 
and especially of the up-stairs room, was inaugurated. As 
to the broken window' — which, by the w f ay, had a couple 
of panes entirely out, except for some bits of glass hang- 
ing to the side — the Sheriff couldn’t see why Sing Ling 
himself might not have removed the panes — for conven- 
ience. There w f as a trick somewhere, he said. 

No trace of the pearls w r as found in the establishment, 
and, leaving further search of the premised to his deputies, 
the Sheriff devoted himself to putting Sing Ling through 
the third degree. There was no change in his story. As 
to the rest, the mind of the dishwasher boy seemed to be 
a complete blank, as was also that of each of the waiters. 

Just what had happened? Had Sing Ling passed out the 
necklace through the window to a confederate? Or had 
he previously transferred it to someone, already out of the 
place when the Sheriff called, and then invented the window 
story? If so, to whom? Who were his friends? Well, 
there was Sam Wong, the laundryman, but Sam was a 
typical washee-washee. industrious and all that, and appar- 
ently honest. Had he been around? Sing Ling said he 
had not seen him. Finally, pressed upon this point, Charley 
See, the cook, said that Sam Won g had come into the kitchen 
through the back door, bringing some laundry. Sara Wong’s 
place was on the same side of the street, at the other end 
of the block. He had had a little talk with Charley See, 
had taken a peek into the dining-room to see if he could 
say a word to Sing Ling, and then had gone on his way. 
All very suspicious, if Sing's rather fishy story were true. 
What did Sam Wong talk about? Nothing— except that he 
said he was going to the city to see his brother, who was sick. 

I was brought into the case through the fact that the 
Sheriff could not wake up Frisco Irish, who was heavily 
doped. Had Sing Ling loaded the pipe with an extra big 
dose of opium for special reasons of his own? Anyway, 
both Doctor Beecher and I attended Frisco over at the 
jail, trying to bring him to. and incidentally we learned of 
Sing Ling’s story of the affair and the other details of the 
case, so far as they were known in the SherifF s office dur- 
ing that first hour. 


ABOUT Doctor Alan Beecher. He had the contract as 
** company physician for the Stony Creek Mining Cor- 
poration and was my superior officer, so to speak. In his 
fifties, he had been a very busy man, the mine officials 
told me, and sometimes two doctors were needed in two 
different places. Also, however, as I was told confidentially, 
while a highly competent man in his prime, Beecher seemed 
to be failing. He was drinking hard at times, gambling 
quite a lot and was no longer reliable. I was given to 
understand that when his contract expired I might have his 
place, at the advanced income. In any event, there was the 
opportunity for considerable private practice on the side. 

When I arrived on the job and met Doctor Beecher, a 
few months before this affair of which I am speaking, I 
quickly saw the reason for his premature failing. The 
man showed slight traces of incipient locomotor ataxia, and 
I said to myself that it was not surprising that he had been 



14 


True Detective Mysteries 


acting queerly. These symptoms were the forerunners of 
that general paralysis and insanity from which he would 
die within a few years. The thing would get progressively 
worse. Evidently the Doctor in his youth had lived high 
and fast, indeed; had gambled in more ways than one, tak- 
ing chances that no prudent man would take. And now 
in his mature years, barely passing middle age, he was 
about to pay the terrific and frightful penalty. 

Doctor Beecher and I both worked over Frisco Irish, 
using an electric battery, ammonia fumes, strychnine, arti- 
ficial respiration, slapping, and coffee — though the latter only 
choked him. Meanwhile, I speculated on the mysterious 
features of the case. Was Sing Ling’s story true? If the 
precious stones had really gone through the window, would 
the chop-suey man later share in the spoils? Sing Ling 
protested innocence, but by being safely locked up he was 


one of my men. Just go and ask for your shirts and col- 
lars, or take some dirty wash in — anything. Just talk to 
him. Hell !” 

With that last exclamation, the Sheriff snapped his fin- 
gers, then stepped over and studied the papers on his desk. 

“What’s the matter?" I asked. 

He held up a telegram along with a “Man Wanted” police 
notice, offering a reward for the capture of Frisco Irish, 
and containing front and side photographs of a clean-shaven 
man who looked very like the man we were trying to 
awaken. The telegram l which I read later, mentioned a 
handsome sum, offered by the owner from whom the pearls 
had been stolen, for their recovery. 

“Now that I think of it," said the Sheriff, “Sam Wong 
was in here about supper time to get my laundry.” It might 
be explained that the Sheriff’s private office was a sort of 



obviously re- 
moved from con- 
sideration as hav- 
ing any part in 
what followed later. 

Charley See’s story of Sam Wong’s visit to the kitchen 
of the restaurant interested the Sheriff, and he asked me 
to leave Frisco Irish to Doctor Beecher and to go over 
and see if Sam Wong was in his laundry, at work. 

“You can tell better ’n anyone if he acts nervous," said 
the Sheriff. “Much better you’d see him, Doc, anyhow, than 
for me, or a deputy. He’d be on his guard if he saw 


combination sleeping-room, living-room, 
office, cardroom, dining-room, washroom, 
shaving parlor, and about all the other 
things that a man would want in a one- 
room flat where he both lives and officiates as a public 
servant at the same time. A curtain stretched across a 
corner of the room back of his desk formed an improvised 
closet where his clothes were hung. He indicated this comer 
when he mentioned the laundry. 

“I recollect," added the Sheriff. “Sam Wong looked the 
stuff over, counting the shirts and socks and things, and 
taking his time. And all the while this ‘Man Wanted’ pic- 
ture and this telegram right here on my desk." 

“But Sam Wong can’t read English,” I said. 

“How the devil do I know that he can’t read? He might 
have tipped off Sing Ling — and ( Continued on page 58) 


I took my time about 
lighting a cigarette as I 
watched Sam Wong 






Revealed Through a 

NEEDLE’S EYE 

William Armstrong, facing disaster for neglecting 
a sacred trust , could not take his case to the 
police . In his extremity he — 

By Detective Richard Morgan 

of the “Phoenix Investigating Service” 

as told to W. Adolphe Roberts 


1 HAVE often been asked why so many cases that ap- 
parently might well have been handled by the Police De- 
partment are turned over to private detectives. People 
who are not familiar with the inside tracks of the law 
can only see that the services of the police are free, while 
a private detective must naturally charge a big fee. Why 
pay for the collecting of routine evidence, they demand, un- 
less of course the cops have first tried and failed? 

The answer to this is, that the victim of a crime quite 
frequently does fiot want the offender punished. He merely 
wants restitution, or the chance to dictate the terms of a 
compromise. If he employs the police, he may not be able 
to keep the matter out of the courts — and possibly his own 
good name may be smirched by any sort of publicity. He 
uses a private detective to insure secrecy and to evade the 
full implications of the law. Thereby, he sets up a personal 
system of justice, and it is the business of such as I to help 
him to do so. The confession is not wholly creditable to 
our profession, but it might as well be made once for all. 
And I shall tell a true story to illustrate the point. 

Not so many months ago, I got a call from the president 
of a trust company I shall call the Union Finance. His name 
was William Armstrong, and he was one of the most eminent 
bankers in New York. I had successfully handled two or three 
little jobs for him. As soon as we were alone in his office, he 
stated in a voice that was hard with repressed anger : 

“ ORGAN, one of the officers of the company has been 
embezzling funds. I want a complete report on his 
private life, his outside business activities, and, if possible, 
the disposition he has made of the money taken here. He must 
not be arrested unless I say so later. I don’t want him even 
scared to the point where he might become a fugitive and 
force me to admit what he has been doing. Are you equal 
to the assignment ? I don’t care to tell you the man’s name 
unless you are.” 

“Why, of course, Mr. Armstrong,” I replied easily. “I 
don’t draw the line at any confidential work. A client’s 
wishes are the only rules that govern me.” 

He nodded, smiling grimly. “Very well. The embezzler 
is George J. Duffy, our third vice-president. The Union 
Finance Trust Company makes a specialty of banking the 
funds of philanthropic enterprises, memorial committees and 


so forth. Generally, we are given the management of the 
accounts, but we’ll accept them simply on deposit. 

“For the past two years, one of these ‘off -again on-again’ 
drives has been waged for a new r Polish hospital. Duffy 
was elected treasurer of the executive committee, because 
he was an officer of a bank, I guess, though the fact that he 
was connected with our institution had nothing directly to 
do with it. He brought the account here. About two 
hundred thousand dollars has been collected, of which Duffy 
has taken at least half.” 

“If his guilt is so obvious to you, isn’t the hospital com- 
mittee likely to detect it at any minute ?” I asked. 

“I DON’T think so. They seem to be a careless lot. They 
* haven’t had an audit since the drive started. Duffy has 
been making a financial report to them every six months. 
They have been satisfied with the balance sheets on the ac- 
count furnished by us, because those sheets have always 
shown the fund to be intact.” 

I raised my eyebrows. “Doctored by a confederate in the 
cashier’s department, eh?” 

“No. Duffy employed a cleverer trick than that. He’d 
draw heavily on the fund throughout each six months’ period. 
His right to do so was absolute. Then, on the last day, he 
would deposit his own check to cover the shortage. The 
moment the balance sheet was in his hands, he’d start draw- 
ing again, in progressively larger amounts. 

“This time his covering check, which was for ninety 
thousand dollars on the Chelsea & Midas Bank, came back 
marked ‘Insufficient Funds.’ Our cashier was on the point 
of taking it up with Duffy, when the president of the 
Chelsea & Midas got us on the phone and asked that the 
check be put through a second time. He explained that 
Duffy had borrowed ninety thousand from his bank the day 
before, but as the result of a clerical error it had not been 
credited to him. 

“I understood Duffy’s scheme instantly. He’d been keep- 
ing a small account at the Chelsea & Midas, but his credit 
there was sound. He’d make a loan to protect the Polish 
Hospital Fund and take it up within a few days by means 
of a check drawn on the fund. The transaction cost him six 
per cent. — a paper transaction, pure and simple, like dealing 
in margins on Wall Street.” 


15 


16 


True Detective Mysteries 



“But it's only a suspicion on your part/' 1 cut in. “You’ve 
only got circumstantial evidence against him.” 

“I’ll admit that/’ said Armstrong drily. “However, the 
fact that he drew one hundred thousand from the fund this 
morning is reason enough for me to consider him an em- 
bezzler and to have him investigated. He’s taking ninety 
thousand to pay for a dead horse, and ten thousand more 
to squander, that’s all. It can’t be legitimate.” 

“Then you want me to---- ” 

“To tie him up tight with anything you 
can get against him — anything, do you 
hear? Bring him to the point where 
he’ll have to save his skin by accepting 
the hardest bargain I can force upon 
him.” 

“He’s probably spent the money I 
ventured. 

“Maybe. Find out. He has other re- 
sources, a house in Roslyn, Long Island, 
anyway. If we can’t get back the full 
amount from Duffy, we’ll make 
good to the Polish Hospital Fund. 

But we want the last possible 
cent from him without the scandal 
that prosecuting him would en- 
tail. You’ll understand, I’m sure, 
that the Union Finance Trust 
Company can’t afford to have- it 
known that one of its 
officers has been looting a 
worthy philanthropy.” 

“Certainly, Mr. Arm- 
strong,” I answered. “I 
understand. This case is 
going to get the right of 
way over everything else on 
my books until I’ve shown 
you results.” 

A secretary was detailed 
to guide me to a passage- 
way from which, unnoticed, 

I could take a good look at 
George J. Duffy. I saw a 
man about forty- five years 
old, with well-cut features 
that the ordinary observer 
would have considered 
strong, but which were 
weakened by soft hazel 
eyes and a lower lip that 
pouted while seeking to 
clamp itself against the 
upper. His hair was thin 
in front and was starting 
to turn gray. His clothes 
were in excellent taste, but 
carelessly kept and neg- 
ligently worn. 

That afternoon, when 
Duffy left for home at four 
o’clock, I started to shadow 
him. It was an easy job. He rode straight 
out to Roslyn on the I^ong Island Railroad. 

I found his house to be a rather modest frame 
structure, worth perhaps $20,000 with the 
land on which it stood. I hung around until 
I felt sure he would not be going out for the 
evening. Then I strolled to the main street 
of the village and made * cautious inquiries 
concerning his reputation. He was described to me as a 
quiet citizen, whose family life had never been the subject 
of gossip. He was married, but had no children. The 
small shopkeepers valued his trade, because he paid promptly. 


The sole hint of anything out of the ordinary came from 
the news-dealer at the railroad station. 

“It’s too bad Mr. Duffy has to work nights in New York 
so often,” he said. “He misses the last train half the time. 
Them big bankers have to keep their noses to the grind- 
stone, all right” 

I had anticipated that Duffy had a secret life in town, and 
the next day, sure enough, he did not go to Roslyn. I trailed 
him to an apartment hotel in West Fifty-fifth Street and 


I watched 
them through 
the peep- 
holes 


saw him enter the elevator without being announced as a 
visitor by the telephone operator. The Hampshire was a 
flashy, expensive house, which specialized in one-room and 
two-room flats. It demanded outward decorum, and no one 


17 


True Detective Mysteries 


but a tenant would have been allowed to sail in as Duffy had 
done. Naturally, he would be using a false name, and for 
the moment I thought it better to ask no questions. I waited 
to see whether he w-ould come out alone. 

At 6.30, he reappeared in the lobby with a young woman. 
She was very beautiful; tall and blue-eyed. There was just 
a touch of hardness about her mouth, of gaudiness in her 
make-up and loudness in her clothes. But she would have 
passed in most circles as being quite ladylike. I figured her 
as a small actress; or a gold-digger of the type so common 
on Broadway who puts up a false social front in order to 
get by. Somewhere in her, I knew, there was a streak of 
the gutter. 


picture house, drifted expensively through a night club, and 
ended up at the Hampshire, which obviously they both re- 
garded as home. 


In the morning, I conducted two little operations which 
might stump an amateur, but which any detective can ac- 
complish w f itli half his wits at work. I learned that George 
J. Duffy’s regular account at the Chelsea & Midas Bank 
did not much exceed $3,000, and that he and the young 
woman I had seen him with were occupying an apartment at 
the Hampshire as Mr. and Mrs. Janies Dudley. The details 
of how I got the information are scarcely important. * At the 
bank, I posed as a tailor interested in Duffy’s desirability as 
a charge customer. At the hotel, I pretended to have 
recognized the girl as a movie star and was obligingly set 
right by the desk clerk. 

With these two points settled. I mapped my campaign. 
Duffy was a weak brother, I decided, who could best be 
reached indirectly. I did not believe he was doing a single 
crooked thing that was not related to his life 
with his girl. Success as a detective often rests 
upon the accuracy of judgments of this sort. 
Anyway, I set a cheap operative to shadowing 
Duffy and devoted my own attention to the 
woman who called herself Mrs. James Dudley. 

In a week’s time, I knew pretty 
nearly all I needed to know about 
her habits. She arose late every 
day and left the hotel some 
time between one and three 
in the afternoon. Her time 
before dinner was spent in 
certain smart shops, where 
she had charge accounts. Yet 
she did not buy a great deal 
of stuff, her passion for 
luxury spent most of its force 
in trying on nice things. She 
had many girl friends, a 
shade tougher-looking than 
she was, whom she'd meet 
here and there, for dancing, 
or in speak -easies, after leav- 
ing the shops. When Duffy 
was not expected (he came 
twice that week), she’d join a 
party that included men and 
women, for dinner. Once she 
hurried home alone at 9 
P. M., and a little later a man 
asked for her at the desk and 
was allowed to go up to her 
apartment 

Hers was a life typical of 
the Broadway mistress who 
is circumspect and fairly 
loyal to her protector. 

But the most interesting 
observation I made was as 
follows: On both mornings 

after Duffy had left her to 
go to his office, she emerged 
from the Hampshire a little 
early — for her — and went to 
a branch of the Wheat Ex- 
change Bank on Seventh 
Avenue, where she deposited 
a roll of bills. It was not 
safe for me to follow her 
into the women’s department 
of the bank, and I postponed 
any attempt to learn the name she 
used or the size of her account. 

The time had come for me to make 
the woman’s acquaintance. Now, I don’t look in the least 
like a detective. That fact has helped me a lot. I have a 
round, good-natured face, and when ( Continued on page 97) 


I shadowed Duffy and his girl all the evening, but did 
not get close enough to overhear any of their conversation. 
They dined at a cabaret, took 
in the last show at a motion - 


“Only five hundred?** cried Pearl. 
44 You've got to give me more!” 




The RIDDLE of the 

In spite of the evidence against her the police could 
murder of her husband could have had a hand 


A GRINNING, human 
skull, yellow and 
h mouldy with age, 
lay under a bright 
light on the desk of In- 
spector John P. Smith, head of the homicide squad of the 
Detroit Police Department. The shades in the office had 
been drawn so that but little of the light of the bright 
September day entered. The sight was ghastly — almost 
supernatural. Inspector Smith was standing near his desk, 
one hand grasping the right arm of the prisoner. In the 
room also were Edward H. Fox, chief of detectives, Detec- 
tive Lieutenants Paul Wencel and Frank L. Collins, and 
myself. 

Chills were running up and down my spine. The scene 
somehow reminded me of the grave-digging in “Hamlet.” In 
my eight years as police reporter I never had seen anything 
with the dramatic setting of this. The prisoner, a woman, 
had her bloodshot eyes riveted on the skull and her face was 
deathly white. It seemed to us who were looking at her, 
that she was about to faint and sink to the floor. 

Nothing was said for more than a minute while the little 
company remained in tense silence. 

Presently she began to writhe as though pierced with red- 
hot needles. But it was her mind that was being tortured, 
and it was worse than any physical pain could be — the 
tcrture of a guilty conscience. Finally Inspector Smith 
spoke : 

“Mrs. Turak, we dug where you told us and here is the 
skull of your former husband, Joseph Podolsky.” 

“No, no, it isn’t my husband — it’s Peter Zydkol Take it 
away! Don’t let it look at me like that!” cried Mrs. Turak. 

She clawed out as though to push it from her sight, but, 
before anyone could restrain her, she had fainted. 

Inspector Smith exchanged glances with the others. 
“Gentlemen, it looks as though we have unearthed two 
murders where we thought there was only one. When she 
revives we will question her further.” 

C OULD any scene on the stage be more dramatic ? Could 
a piece of fiction contain such a smashing climax? 

I said no as I witnessed it in 1922, and now more than 
four years later I say the same. A police reporter plays 
many Doctor Watson roles to the Sherlock Holmes of the 
police department, but never did a story impress me so much 
like one of A. Conan Doyle’s. I could almost fancy 
Sherlock saying as the case was closed and the slayer put 
behind the bars for life: 

“My dear Watson, never take anything for granted. You 

see there were two men slain instead of one ” 

But from the beginning, the murder of Joseph Podolsky 
was a paradox. 

No one could prove he had Ixen slain. 

For more than three years the police had tried to locate 
his body and then one day a man came to Police Head- 
quarters and reported his wife had left him and taken three 
of his trunks and $600. He gave the name of John Turak, 
and in making the report he said his wife’s former name 
had been Mrs. Mary Podolsky. 


To the average person the 
association of the names 
would have little import, but 
then it has been said the 
greatest asset of any em- 
ployee of a police department is a good memory. Earl 
Fleming, complaint clerk in the detective bureau of Police 
Headquarters, remembered the name. He also remembered 
that she had been arrested at the time Podolsky had been 
reported missing, on a charge of suspicion of murder, to- 
gether with her roomer, Peter Zydko. He also recalled that 
they had been released several days after their arrest for 
lack of evidence or definite proof that Podolsky was dead. 
It had been hinted at the time that she would marry Zydko. 
The fact that she had not, aroused the detective instinct in 
Fleming. He wanted to know why she hadn’t. So he sent 
Turak back to the homicide squad to report the theft to 
them. If he had been an ordinary clerk he would have 
taken the report as a matter of routine and one of the out- 
standing cases in the history of Detroit crime still would 
have been a mystery. 

IF Podolsky had not been a man of sheer ability and prom- 
* inence in the Ukrainian colony in which he moved, it is 
doubtful if he ever would have been reported missing or 
that any effort would have been made to locate him. 
Certainly after a lapse of more than three years he would 
have been forgotten, but as a man is loved in life, so will he 
be missed in death. 

The facts of the unusual case are these. 

Podolsky, who was about forty years old, was apparently 
living happily with his wife, Mary, several years his junior, 
in their modest little home. With then lived a roomer whose 
name was Peter Zydko, and who was apparently nothing 
more than a good friend of the family. While police sus- 
pected a love affair at the time of Podolsky’s disappearance, 
there was nothing to substantiate it other than the idle 
gossip of neighbors. 

One sweltering night in the middle of July of 1919 the 
three went for a ride in Podolsky’s automobile. They told 
neighbors they were going to “cool off,” and the last time 
Podolsky ever was seen alive or dead was when he waved 
a parting salute from the driver’s seat of the car. 

Along about midnight a passerby saw Mrs. Podolsky re- 
turn home alone. A short time later Zydko drove into the 
garage — alone. No one thought anything about it until they 
missed Podolsky several days later and asked where he was. 

They tapped at the door and were met by Mrs. Podolsky, 
pale and wan. “Where’s Joe?” he next-door neighbor asked. 
“I haven’t seen him in a couple of days.” 

“I don’t know,” she replied nervously. “He’s gone. He 
told us he would be back, but he hasn’t shown up yet.” 

“HT OO bad,” sympathized the neighbor. “He was such 
* a nice man. But didn’t he say where he was going?” 
“No. You see it was so hot and he had been acting so 
strangely the last few days. We were out on the Seven-mile 
Road and he got out of the car to get some ice-cream to cool 
us off. He never came back.” 


By Frederic 0. Schultze 

Police Reporter, Detroit Free Press 


18 


Grinning SKULL 

not believe that a woman who was accessory to the 
in the murder of her paramour . But 



“Did you report it to the police?” 

Pale as she had been, she grew even paler, and as she 
moistened her lips she admitted she had not, but would do so 
in a couple of days if he 
didn't return. But she 
didn't have to report it. 

Neighbors did it for her 
and the man 
who had asked 
her about her 


Podolsky and Zydko to Police Headquarters for a statement. 

The oppressive heat still had the city in its merciless grip 
when they were brought to the little red building which 
housed the Police Department in 1919. It 
was a three-story, red brick structure 
which had been built in the early seven- 
ties, and the heat poured in from 
the burning pavement as though 
from a furnace. An effort had 
been made to cool off the build- 
ing by creating a 
draught by opening 
the windows, but in 
spite of this the heat 


husband gave it as his opinion that Podolsky had been slain. 

“He's dead as sure as fate. She killed him,'' the neighbor 
reported. “She's glad to get rid of him. She's going to 
marry Zydko, her roomer. He must be in on it, too. They 
took him out for a ride purposely to kill him." 

This was the status of the case when Detective Lieuten- 
ants Paul Wencel and Frank Collins were assigned to it. 
After asking a few questions at the house, they brought Mrs. 


was almost unbearable. It was because of this that the door 
of the homicide squad's quarters was opened and on that par- 
ticular afternoon when I strolled down the hall listlessly I 
could not help but hear the sound of a woman's voice in 
vigorous denial. 

“I did not kill him !" I heard her say. 

I looked in the door at a short, stockily built little woman, 
very commonplace-looking, it was true, but with a fire in 


19 




20 


True Detective Mysteries 


her dark eyes that caused one to give her a second glance. 
She was dressed plainly, but neatly, and seemed cool and 
collected. Across from her were seated Lieutenants Wencel 
and Collins. 

I LOOKED down the corridors. The heat had driven 
* everyone to cool corners or to open windows. Apparently 
the building was deserted. What a fine chance to hear what 
was going on, I thought, and while it was not ethical, I will 
admit I posted myself near enough to the door to hear what 
was being said, but far enough away to pass on should any- 
one approach. The end justified the means, I thought. 
Here was a woman accused of slaying her husband. I did 
not know who she was nor had I heard of the case, but I 
knew the public would be interested. A woman who slays 
always holds the public's attention. 

“If you didn't kill him, who did?” The voice I recognized 
as Wencel's. The voice was hard and carried a tone I never 
had heard in it before. 

“How do you know he’s dead?” 

“If he isn't dead, where is he?” 

“I don't know.” 

“When (lid you see him last ?” 

She was being put through what the newspapers call a 
grilling. A few years ago it would have been called the 
“third degree.” Spellbound, I listened. 

“It was hot. That is why we went out for a drive in the 
first place. Joe was driving the car when he decided he 


“Why, the car broke down on the way home and Zydko 
started to fix it. He was so long at it that I said I would 
walk. We were only a few blocks away.” 

“Do you love Zydko?” 

“We are nothing more than friends. He is a friend of 
my husband.” 

There were a few more questions and the quizzing closed 
when the two officers told her they were sorry but they would 
have to hold her a day or so until they checked up on her 
story. 

And then Zydko was led into the little room with the 
open door. What a tale the walls could tell of the men that 
had been questioned there for almost half a century, I 
thought. But still, what a better tale they could give to the 
world if they could but read the thoughts of the hundreds of 
criminals that had been led there, and thus be led to tell 
whether they were innocent or guilty. 

y YDKO was a determined-looking man. thick-set. with 
^ heavy features and a poise that spelled assurance and 
confidence. He told the same story as Mrs. Podolsky. 

For more than an hour I heard the two detectives accuse 
him of murder. They told him that he had buried the body 
of Podolsky along the Seven-mile Road; that he loved Mrs. 
Podolsky and that he had planned to kill her husband; that 
Mrs. Podolsky had prompted him to do it; that she had 
helped him kill Podolsky and that she helped bury him, and 
that the story of the car being broken down was all a lie. 


“rpwo days after being brought in for questioning, they were re- 
* leased. 


“‘When Mr. Podolsky returns, well let you know/ said Zydko. 
He took Mrs. Podolsky by the arm — and that was the last time 
the police ever saw Zydko alive!” 


would go and get some ice-cream. It was getting late and 
we were out in the country — not the country, exactly; but 
along the Seven-mile Road. Off to one side were some 
stores. Joe told us to wait, that he would get the ice-cream 
there, and he left us. We waited and waited and finally 
Zydko went to see what had become of him. 

“He found he never had entered the store. Then I went 
there too and the storekeeper said there hadn't been a man 
in there for a couple of hours. We decided that he had 
gone some place else, so we waited around for a while. 
Then we concluded that perhaps he had met a friend of his 
and maybe he had gone for a ride with him to get the ice- 
cream and their car had broken down and that he couldn't 
get back. After being parked there for nearly an hour, we 
came home.” 

I 70 R more than a half an hour I listened to the two officers 
* question her, but never did she weaken in her story. She 
gave the location of the store and detail after detail that 
seemed to bear her out, and then Wencel shot out a question 
which I had been waiting for and which he told me later he 
had been holding in reserve to shatter her story. 

“If this is true. Mrs. Podolsky, why did you come home 
alone?” 

Every word was as clearly enunciated as though cut with 
a knife. The “grilling” had come to a climax. The question 
was going to trap her or free her. I watched her face 
closely. Apparently the full significance had not touched her. 


But they could not shatter Zydko’s story. Without anger 
and without emotion, he met their accusations. They were 
unable to twist him in what he said. 

“I don't think he's dead,” Zydko replied several times. 
“He must be wandering around some place. Maybe he's out 
of his head — you know — with the heat.” 

OATLESS and with wilted collars the detectives came 
^ from the little room. They told Zydko the same as 
they had told Mrs. Podolsky — they would have to hold him 
until they checked up on his story. They booked the two 
on a charge of suspicion of murder. 

“There isn't the least doubt in my mind,” Lieutenant 
Collins told me later, when I asked what the case was all 
about, “but what he is dead. What would he want to drop 
out of sight for? Apparently he had no enemies. Every- 
body liked him. The only reason to kill him would be to 
allow Mrs. Podolsky and Zydko to marry.” 

There was nothing about the disappearance of Podolsky 
to warrant a sensational story at this time and the daily 
papers carried a brief paragraph to the effect that his wife 
and her roomer were being held in connection with his 
disappearance. 

But it is not always the sensational cases in which the 
most interest lies, and for two days I followed Lieutenants 
Wencel and Collins as they checked the stories of these two. 
There was nothing to disprove them. They had gone into 
the confectionery store looking for Podolsky, as they said, 


True Detective Mysteries 


21 



and apparently their car had broken down. No one saw it. 
but then, the police had to take their word for it, for they 
could not shake their story. Along the Seven-mile Road 
we went looking for a freshly dug grave, or for a body in 
the ditch, but we could find nothing. 

Time and time again within the forty-eight hours they had 
been held at Police Headquarters the man and woman had 
been brought in to check up on their story and to pick holes 
in it. Each was told the other confessed, but without avail. 
The deception got the officers nowhere. They laughed and 
said Podolsky was alive. 

And so, while the friends of Podolsky besieged Police 
Headquarters and insisted that the pair had 
put him out of the way, there was not one 
single bit of evidence to prove that he had 
been killed. Two days after 
being brought in for question- 
ing, the pair were released. 

“When Mr. Podolsky returns 
well let you know,” said Zydko. 

He took Mrs. Podolsky by the 
arm — and that was the 
last time the police ever 
saw Zydko alive ! 

“Did you notice the 
satisfaction he 
seemed to get 


interest in the affair by Podolsky’s many friends. Several 
months later Wencel called at the house Mrs. Podolsky had 
occupied, but another family lived there. The new occupant 
said Mrs. Podolsky had moved, but was unable to give her 
new address. For several months the detectives watched the 
papers for the marriage license of Zydko and Mrs. Podolsky, 
but it never appeared. It was possible, of course, that they 
had left town and might have been married elsewhere. 

And so time went on until the case became a memory. 
Everybody forgot it with the exception of the two detectives 
who had worked on it, and Fleming, the detective bureau 
clerk. 


managed 
: the gun 
f from 
m , and 
then 


She 


to 


out of that last 
remark ?” asked 
Lieutenant 
Wencel. “If we could 
find Podolsky’s body, 

111 bet I would make him confess.” 

And so the case dropped into oblivion as far as the 
Police Department was concerned. Wencel and Collins 
made a few more trips along the Seven-mile Road looking 
for graves and in that section for more than a year 
every suspicious circumstance was thoroughly investigated 
by these two officers in the hope that it might in some way 
lead to a clue having connection with Podolsky’s disappear- 
ance. But the quest was futile. Across the files of the 
case in the homicide squad was marked “Closed. No corpus 
delicti!” From time to time an effort was made to revive 


There is a say- 
ing that “Murder 
will out.” Certainly 
it applied to this case, but in a manner wholly unexpected — 
as is usually the case. 

Three years had passed and there had been many changes 
in the Police Department, both in personnel and in appear- 
ance. The dingy red brick building which had housed the 
department for half a century had been replaced by a 
massive new building and several hundred men had been 
added to the staff. But the efficiency of the force was still 
a matter of pride and none shared it to a greater degree 
than Fleming. 

One sweltering hot day in ( Continued on page 62) 


a 


“$10,00 0 or We 

“Pay! — or we will return your son to you 
ultimatum sent by “Black Fox ” to the heart - 


“IF this man will 
I carry on with us, 

X it should give us 
a good opportu- 
nity to get ‘Black Fox’ 
at last. During the 
past few years, it is 
estimated there have 
been about one hundred and fifty kidnapped school children. 
Parents are panic-stricken — scared to death to communicate 
with the police. Now, Captain, go to it and get your man. 
You can have all the assistance you require.” 

Commissioner Woods drawled out the foregoing as he 
handed me a soiled, clumsily written letter across his desk 
at New York Police Headquarters. Attached to it was 
a cheap envelope addressed in printed characters and the 
Central Office interpreter’s translation. 

It was the Commissioner’s practice of giving the men 
under him a free hand that made him so popular with the 
entire force. Fraternizing with them outside the Depart- 
ment, he was probably one of the most genial men who 
ever held his position. In office, he w r as a man of very 
few words. When he spoke in that soft, overemphasized 
Harvard accent, it promised a big reward for success — or a 
punitive demotion for failure. 

I WAS captain of the Greenwich Street Police Station at 
* that time — it was in the summer of 1913 — and wdiile I 
discussed a few matters connected with my precinct, my 
eyes sought again and again the ugly image of a black 
hand, grasping a dagger, which served as signature to the 
anonymous communication before me. 

“Go to it, now, and bring in Black Fox, dead or alive, 
but be wary. The child’s life must not be endangered — 
and they are a murderous crew.” 

Leaving the Commissioner’s office, I glanced over the 
threatening note. There was, of course, no name signed 
to it, nor any address given. The envelope, however, ad- 
dressed to Joe Cascardo, No. — Bleecker Street, New 
York City, bore the stamp of a post-office branch in Brook- 
lyn. The menacing characters had been translated as fol- 
lows, in neat, official type: 

We have Johnnie. We must have $10,000. Be 
carcfu !. Don't go to the police. It will not be good 
for you and your family, and we will send your 
boy home in pieces in a box. 

I folded up the letter, official interpretation, and envelope, 
and placed them in my wallet. Such communications are 
not unheard of to-day — but they are sent by irresponsible 
morons who are quickly captured. They were broadcast, 
at the time of the Johnnie Cascardo case, by one of the 
most vicious gangs of desperadoes with which the New 
York police ever came in contact — a despicable mob, who 
prowled after little children, and penalized parental love to 
the last penny the family fortunes could stand. It was 
said to be ruled by a prominent merchant, known only as 
Black Fox. 

As I rode back up-town, I reviewed in my mind all that 


I had heard rumored 
about this monster. 
Black Fox was not a 
bogey name used by 
parents to frighten 
their children — it was 
the sinister name mut- 
tered by messengers 
of the black-handers in order to paralyze parents with fear. 

The threats, blood-curdling as they were, contained in the 
extortion letters were not empty ones. Kidnapped children 
had actually been mutilated, and in one or two instances 
killed, when the ransom was not forthcoming. The amounts 
demanded ranged from $500 to $15,000, and most parents 
had preferred being blackmailed to running the risk in- 
volved in reporting their troubles to the police. 

Nine kidnappers had been arrested in ten years — but, 
though these all received long sentences, each one had been 
a “lone wolf,” actuated by revenge. They, the police were 
convinced, had no connection with the gang operated by 
Black Fox. Investigations had uncovered the elaborate 
system employed in his organization, which was as fol- 
lows : The kidnappers got their relatives to spread the 

word along in the right directions, so that finally the par- 
ents being blackmailed learned that so-and-so knew some- 
body else, who knew still another man who could get to 
the kidnappers. 

It would have been an easy matter for the police to have 
captured the kidnappers had they had the co-operation of 
the parents, but the parents lived in terror of the vengeance 
of the gang. 

Would Cascardo have the courage to go through with it? 
Frankly, I doubted this. If he, himself, had been in dan- 
ger, it would have been possible to convince him of his 
duty. As it was, the criminals were shielding themselves 
behind the body of his oldest bom — little ten-year-old John- 
nie, the apple of his eye. 

From a near-by telephone booth I called up the bakery 
store at No. — Bleecker Street which he owned, and asked 
him to meet me at a certain obscure restaurant that after- 
• noon. I explained that the Commissioner had turned over 
the blackmailing letter to me. 

“Oh, it’s all right now,’’ he answered in a dead, monoto- 
nous voice. “I know where he is now. He’s with friends. 
It was just a joke of a neighbor of mine to send that letter.” 

GO he had reneged already. I didn’t blame him. It was 
^ the most natural thing in the world. He had mailed 
the letter the night before, and had, for some reason or 
other, become panic-stricken. I knew the man; he was 
hard-working, thrifty and ambitious. He bore an excel- 
lent reputation. There had been a rumor that on two 
occasions he had aided relatives in paying a ransom for a 
kidnapped child. 

The only thing to do was to force his co-operation. This 
entailed a tremendous responsibility — but something had to 
be done. 

At that time I had some of the best men in the Depart- 
ment working under me. These included Detectives Bottie, 


By Inspector THOMAS J. Tunney 

Formerly of the New York Police Department 

as told to Isabel Stephen 


22 


Kill Your Son” 

\ • 4 

in pieces , in a box!” was the blood-curdling 
broken father of little Johnnie Cascardo 



Moses, Cavone, Oliver, De Gilio, Trabucci and Dowling. 
With their aid, I felt pretty confident I should be able to 
run down Black Fox, if things broke right. However, 
no matter how efficiently we might work, should Cascardo 
pay over the money before we came to some understanding, 
all our efforts would go for nothing. 

Walking through Bleecker Street, on the side on which 
the bakery was lo- 
cated, I kept a keen 
but cautious look-out 
for a vacant flat from 
which Cascardo’s 
place could be kept 
under surveillance. 

With one of 
those ten- 
strikes, by 
which fortune 


occasionally favors detectives, I discovered a “To Let” sign 
on the building directly opposite his place. 

Two hours later the flat was rented, and I was address- 
ing eight very skillful shadow men. 

“You are to keep Cascardo’s store under constant sur- 
veillance, day and night,” I directed them. “Whenever you 
see a caller come out on the pavement and hold a con- 
versation with the baker, follow that man. You needn’t 
shadow Cascardo. Four men will be assigned to that. And 
remember, every minute, that a human life depends on your 
keeping successfully under cover. Don’t take chances.” 
The men, dressed in rough working clothes, departed, 
took up headquarters in the rented flat and started what 
proved to be a forty-seven day-and-night vigil. 


I knew the proprietor of a drug-store in the neighbor- 
hood, and obtained his permission to make my headquarters 
in his back room. There, I had two telephones installed so 
secretly that, so far as I knew, no one observed their 
installation. 

Three days went by before I again got into communica- 
tion with Cascardo. It was, as I mentioned before, abso- 
lutely neces- 
sary to gain 
h i s co-opera- 
tion in order 
to snare Black 
Fox. The mes- 
sage I sent was 
a decoy to 
bring Cascardo 
to my secret 
headquarters. I 
rose and closed 
the door when 
he entered. 

For an in- 
stant his dark, 
troubled eyes 


flashed with fiery anger when 
he recognized me. 

“Why. I thought it was ” 

he began, with quivering lips. Then, belligerently, he 
added : “I don’t want to have anything to do with the police. 
I told you it was all a mistake. I know where he is.” 

In spite of his anger, his lips trembled, and a misty veil 
filmed his eyes. I could see the man was all shot to 
pieces. 

“You thought it was the man from Fiscarelli.” I sug- 
gested softly. He started at the mention of the name. 
“Oh, yes, I know you ‘consulted* him. He was one of the 
advisers the time your little nephew, Tony Coppola, was 
stolen, wasn’t he? Yet he isn’t an intimate friend of yours. 
I’m going to work on this case — that's settled. Why don’t 
you work with me? You say you know where little Johnnie 
is. The truant officers would be interested to know, and 


23 


24 


True Detective Mysteries 


certainly I don’t want to waste time if you do know. Sit 
down on that chair and think it over.” 

/^•ASCARDD stood stock still on the spot he had reached 
^ when he first realized who I was. He remained stand- 
ing. Up long before daylight, he worked late into the night. 
He seldom sat down, except at mealtime. Though cred- 
ited with having a comfortable little sum in the -bank, his 
money hadn't come to him easily. Except for a mechanical 
twitching of his lips and a vague rubbing of his hands 
against his coat, he seemed master of himself. 

‘‘Antonio Fiscarelli is the merchant who sells me flour,” 
he offered. “He had nothing to do with Johnnie!” 

More bravado! 

“And it was just a coinci- 
dence you went to see him after 
Peter Gargiulo called on you — 
just as in the Tony Coppola 
case ?” I murmured. 

This was a shot in 
the dark. My men 
had reported a 
pavement confer- 
ence with Gar- 
giulo first, and 
that this liad 
l>een followed 
by a visit late 
at night to Fis- 
carelli ’s home 
on the East 
Side. Fisca- 
relli, it was 
true, owned a 
wholesale flour 
business and 
passed as a 
p rosperous 
merchant 
among his 
neighbors, but 
murmurs had 
been heard 
connecting him 
with Black Fox's 
gang. 

“Look here, 

Cascardo. I prom- 
ise you that I 
shall not interro- 
gate anybody — I 
won't have a soul 
approached until John- 
nie is safely back with 
you,” I said slowly 
and distinctly. “You 
shall be absolutely 
safe if you co-operate 
with me, give me your 
help. What's the use 
of your going on 
handing out money to those 
black-handers? You have other 
children — do you want them 
stolen, too, and frightened and 
tortured ?” 

The baker’s broad shoulders quivered convulsively — once, 
twice. He was an intelligent man. He knew the danger 
of encouraging the kidnapping fiends — yet, his Johnnie was 
right then at the mercy of the enemy. It was an alliance 
that would be full of hazards. 

Finally he seemed to realize that he was between the 
devil and the deep sea. I didn't believe that he suspected 



that oUr men were shadowing his store; he had probably 
never heard of “shadow men” being employed by the police. 
His surrender was pathetic. Though the back room, where 
our interview took place, was sunless and cool, beads of 
perspiration stood out on his forehead and lips as he silently 
confirmed our compact by handing me three printed letters, 
signed by the Black Hand. 

“These say,” he explained, “that they will send me Johnnie 
in pieces. First says they will send me the ear; second, the 
tongue; third, the heart. And each says, ‘Beware — don’t go 
to police.’ ” 

“But you haven’t told them yet that you will not pay 
the ransom, have you?” I asked him. 

“No-o-o, this is just the start,” he muttered. “I have 

yet to see the man who 
knows somebody to tell him. 

I have not ten thousand dol- 
lars, but will pay what I 

___ »» 

can. 

He uttered the last defi- 
antly. 

“That’s all right, Cas- 
cardo,” I as- 
sured him. “Of 
course, you will 
pay the money 
— but you must 
tell me before 
you pay it. You 
swear this?” 

He assured 
me that he would 
keep me in 
touch with de- 
velopments 
through the 
mail, addressing 
his letters to the 
drug - store 
owner. 

“Fiscarelli is 
my good friend,” 
he insisted. “He 
is seeking the 
one who can 
take my message 
to those who 
have sent the 
letters. Soon 
now h£ hopes to 
let me know.” 

I glanced at 
the post-office 
rubber - stamp 
marks on the 
envelopes in 
which the let- 
ters were en- 
closed. These 
indicated that 
the threats had 
been mailed 
from Harlem, 
Jersey and the 
Bronx. 

Though Cascardo seemed to be perfectly sincere, I was 
taking no chances. After he had left me, I sent the letters 
down-town to Headquarters for translation, and sent a note 
to the men housed in the flat opposite the bakery urging them 
to keep up a constant surveillance. 

Thirty days of continuous shadowing and investigation of 
all Cascardo’s friends and acquaintances followed without 
any further communications from the kidnappers. Mrs. 


I certainly felt 
pity for that 
girl 


True D elective Mysteries 


25 



Cascardo became haggard. Her eyes reflected the anxiety 
and torture she was undergoing. Italians rarely confide 
their worries and intimate business dealings to their wives, 
and I was certain that she had no idea as to how the nego- 
tiations were proceeding. 

I compiled a list of all names and addresses of suspicious 
acquaintances and had these shadowed, so that w r hen the 
time to spring our trap arrived I should have men on the 
ground to close them in if necessary. Naturally, I elimi- 
nated those beyond suspicion. 

Cascardo had not communicated with me in any way — 
and I had not disturbed him. His conversations with men 
whom we suspected, because they were intimates of Fisca- 
relli and Gargiulo, took place either on the street or within 
the business establishments of these men. 

On the thirty-fourth day of our work on the case, a deliv- 


a stolen car and a faked license number. But when the 
crook takes to a horse-driven wagon, the requisites the 
shadow' man needs more than anything else are fleet feet and 
good wind. 

IT may seem to the reader that the obvious thing for us 
* to do would have been to go to the company owning the 
delivery wagon (it was a nationally known company) and 
make inquiries concerning this particular driver. That 
would not have done at all. These kidnappers were not 
taking any chances. Arrest meant fifty years in the peni- 
tentiary. Also, it was always necessary to keep in mind 
that the life of little Johnnie was at stake. 

We had many mighty fine sprinters among our men. 
They could have easily kept up with that wagon. How- 
ever, the sight of a man running always attracts attention — 
as much attention as a human fly climbing up the 
face of a building. 

Though the two men who took up trailing the 
wagon on the first day lost their subject after a 

couple of hours, 
it was easy to 
surmise that at 
last we had dis- 
covered a man 
who w'as in close 
touch with those 
“higher up" in 
the g a n g. 


Whereas 
the other 


all 


“Oh, please, 
please take me 
away!” begged 
the girl 


ery wagon stopped 
in front of the 
bakery. The driver 
entered and. according 
to my man’s report, after 
a few moments Cascardo 
returned with him to the 
sidewalk, where they held 
a short conversation. 

To trail a clever crook is always a difficult matter. It is 
easy for him to mingle w r ith the crowds and confuse the 
shadow’ man: if the latter know their business, however, 
they have a fair chance of keeping him in view. When 
the crook is riding in an automobile, his chances of escape 
are, of course, much greater. You cannot often trace him 
by the license number, for he takes the precaution of using 


who had had con- 
ferences with 
Cascardo had 
taken no precau- 
tions against being fol- 
lowed, the driver led the 
shadow men such a round- 
about and zigzag trail that 
we knew he had been in- 
structed to be on the alert- for possible followers. 

Added to this was the fact that the driver stopped at only 
one other bakery store, and that was on the outer border 
of the East Side. 

•When Cascardo did not communicate with me, I thought 
it was time to have another interview. Consequently I sent 
for him. 

“Haven’t you something more ( Continued on page 84) 




“If He’d Let the Other 


Aarons quarreled with a fellow boarder , 
strangled to death in his room. They 


O NE of the most interesting cases I was ever sent 
out on came to me one morning not so long ago 
when Inspector Sullivan called me into his little 
cubby-hole of an office and said: 

“Mike, a young fellow’s been found murdered in his room 
in a boarding-house over on Manhattan Avenue. Beat it 
over there and see what it’s all about.” He handed me the 
address on a slip of paper and I made for the door. 

Feretti, a clever detective from Headquarters, and his re- 
lief, Regan, were there when I arrived. I went into the 
room, three flights up, and found the murdered man, 
Albert Aarons, a young salesman, lying half across 
the bed, his pockets rifled of every valuable, and the 
unmistakable signs on his face and throat of having 
been strangled to death. I made a note of the fact 
that «a letter “M,” about an inch square, was tattooed 
on the under side of his right arm. 

A fussy little man, who gave his name as Arnold 
Litsy, meanwhile was raising a rumpus about being 
detained — along with some others who were 
in the house at the time of the murder. His 
attitude I did not like. I mentally made a 
note of this, ordered that he remain, and 
left the room to follow out an idea that had 
just occurred to me. 

I stepped out the window onto the fire- 
escape, followed along it and climbed 
through an open window into the room of 
George Myles, a young electrical engineer, 
who was one of the tenants, and who at the 
time sat at a 
table reading. 

“Who the devil 
are you, and 
what do you 


where the murder had occurred was a matter not to be over- 
looked. It is true I had known nothing of Myles when I 
stepped out onto the fire-escape. But I had had a hunch 
that there were possibilities in that direction. 

I took Myles to the murder room and questioned him, my 
questioning resulting in the information that he knew 



want here,” he bellowed. 

“My name’s Delaney and I’m from Police Headquarters,” 
I told him quietly. “Kindly come with me.” 

The easy access from this young man’s room to the room 


The picture was 
that of Clifford 
Morris — the 
man who later 
was to become 
a jail-bird 


Aarons and that there was bad blood between them, although 
he didn’t state this. I knew it from his attitude, and from 
the remark he made when I pinned him down, which was 
this : 

“I disliked him (Aarons) because I have no use for a 
man of his type. He never had a serious thought in his 
head, and made fun of those who had. As for a quarrel, 
one doesn’t quarrel with a person one deliberately avoids.” 


26 


Fellow’s Girl Alone — ” 

over a girl— and later he was found 
caught the u other fellow ” but 


After he had made this state- 
ment, I could get nothing 
further out of him. 

A little later I took Mrs. Sim- 
mons, the landlady, into a room 
for questioning. She became 
much excited, but I calmed her 
down and finally got the significant information out of her 
that for a long time preceding the coming of Aarons, Myles 
— for whom she had nothing but praise — and a pretty 
stenographer, Jessie Sw’ayne, who lived in the house, had 
kept company. It was understood they intended to marry. 
Aarons showed interest in her, took her out to dances and 
the theater, and that led to a quarrel between Myles and 
Aarons. When I thought of Aarons, lying dead, it seemed 

like a case of, “If he’d let the other fellow’s girl alone ” 

But still, one could never tell. 

’"THIS girl, Jessie Swayne, was in the house, and I sent for 
^ her. While I was questioning her, Regan appeared, 
grasping the officious Litsy. 

“I can’t keep this fellow quiet. Delaney. He’s roaring so 
about the police that he’s got the others talking nasty. 
Maybe you’d better phone for someone from the station to 
take him there.” 

“I won't go to the station. I insist upon telling my 
story ” 

“Right, Mr. Litsy.” In a flash I decided the time had come 
to take advantage of the fellow’s anger. “I’m going to 
let you talk now. Sorry I had to keep you waiting. No 
doubt you’re a good, law-abiding citizen, anxious to tell 
everything which will help the police.” 

“Yes, sir, I am. 

“Go down and keep the others quiet, Regan. Mr. Litsy, 
I’m £oing to hear you, but first listen to me.” Then, in 
short sentences, I told him all I knew about the love affairs 
of Aarons, Myles, and the girl. While I spoke I watched 
her, noted her cheeks flame, then turn white; she appeared 
ready to cry. “What can you add to that?” I finished. 

“Something that’s important. Last night Myles came 
home earlier than usual and went to his room, after learn- 
ing that Miss Swayne and Aarons were out together. They 
came in about eleven. She came into the parlor, where 
some of us were playing cards. Aarons went up-stairs. I 
followed, intending to go to bed. My room is on the third 
floor. As I opened my door, I heard the voices of Myles 
and Aarons from the floor above. They talked rather low, 
but they were quarreling bitterly about Miss Swayne and 
some letters. Finally I heard Myles say, Tf you were on 
the level I wouldn't care. But* you’re not. You keep away 
from her hereafter or I’ll make you. And 111 give you 
until to-morrow morning, no longer, to turn over to me 
every letter she’s written you.* Aarons laughed. Then I 
heard two doors slam; and that’s all.” 

“You heard no sound in the night?” 

“Absolutely nothing or I’d ” 

“Thanks. You’re a fine type of citizen. You can go 
now.” I opened the door, pushed him out with a hand- 
shake, and yelled to Regan to permit him to leave the house. 


Next I motioned for Mrs. Sim- 
mons to go, and turned to the 
girl. 

Apparently what she had 
heard had made her anxious to 
speak ; to say what she could 
to lessen the suspicion raised 
against Myles. She talked clearly and seemingly without 
attempt to hold anything back. After first protesting that 
Myles was the finest type of man. absolutely incapable of 
doing anything not aboveboard, she told this story: 

For two years she and he had been sweethearts, frequently 
talking about marriage, though not actually engaged. She 
often had objected to Myles’ close attention to his studies, 
because it deprived her of his company evenings; often 
compelled her to remain at home when all the other young 
people of the house were out enjoying themselves. Occa- 
sionally she went to the movies or elsewhere with some of 
the men, Myles making no objection. He and Aarons, how- 
ever, never liked each other, the latter poking fun at Myles’ 
studious habits. After Aarons had been her escort a few 
times, the men engaged in a bitter quarrel, in which Myles 
demanded that Aarons refrain from taking her out again. 

She had resented this and accompanied Aarons, thereby 
creating the situation Mrs. Simmons had described. She 
insisted that she cared nothing for Aarons, and if Myles 
had apologized for his rudeness she would have forgiven 
him and done as he wished, for she loved him. But both 
had been stubborn, and the triangular misunderstanding had 
continued to the previous evening. Aarons, she stated, spent 
liberally when in funds. When broke, which was rather 
frequent, he was accustomed to borrow’ from the other 
boarders, giving his watch as security. Asked to describe 
it, she said it was an ornate timepiece of considerable value, 
upon the gold case of which was engraved a letter “M.” 
He had explained the initial by stating that the watch had 
been his mother’s, and her name was Mary. She was cer- 
tain he carried the timepiece the previous evening, but be- 
lieved he had very little money. He told her that he had 
not much more than sufficient to pay his board the next 
day, and so they had gone only to a movie and returned 
home early. 

IN reply to queries concerning their relations, and if she 
* knew anything concerning his past or where he came 
from, she gave me two leads. He had asked her repeatedly 
to marry him, stating that he expected an inheritance 
shortly, and promising to take her to Paris to live if she 
would do so. Each time she had refused, but this had not 
caused him to cease his attentions. He never had told her 
anything of his people or where he had lived. All she 
knew was that he went each night to a news-stand in Broad- 
way, where out-of-town newspapers were sold, and pur- 
chased the Greensboro Star. (The name of the state doesn’t 
matter.) To her questions he had replied that he had a 
close friend living there, and the paper printed occasional 
items about this friend. 

Then I asked about the letters Myles had demanded. “I 
don’t know how he learned about them,” she said, “but they 


By Michael Delaney, 

Detective Lieutenant 

as told to Edwin A Goewey 


27 


28 


True Detective Mysteries 



Both were arrested 
for an unpaid hotel 
biU 


arrest — when published in the newspapers — would 
throw the killer off his guard. 

1 went to Myles, told him what I had learned, 
and demanded that he make an explanation. He was obsti- 
nate and sarcastic, informing me that if he were made pris- 
oner he’d obtain counsel to do the talking for him. Thor- 
oughly exasperated, I ordered Feretti to take him to In- 
spector Sullivan at Headquarters. 

Then I began a systematic search of Aarons’ room, over- 
looking nothing. First 1 located several recent copies of 
the Greensboro Star pushed in (Continued on page 92) 


were innocent. Mr. Aarons left each morning before I was 
up. If he wanted me to go out with him at night, he would 
leave a note on his dresser. If I could accompany him, I 
would write my reply on his note and drop it in a drawer. 
He would get home first, read my note, and dress. I never 
was in his room except when he was not 
there. He told me he kept the notes be- 
cause he w’as fond of me. He said he 
hid them in a pocket nailed behind the 
dresser mirror, where no one would think 


stantial evidence which had piled up against him, I recog- 
nized certain circumstances to offset them: the disappear- 
ance of the watch and money and the unusual strength of 
the killer. These would not let me believe the youth was 
the murderer. Still, he must be made to talk. If he con- 
tinued obstinate, there remained but 
one course — to arrest him, either as 
principal or witness. If innocent, his 


of looking for them. They may be there now. I can’t tell 
you anything else. But please be kind to George. If he 
wasn’t so stubborn, he could explain everything. It’s all my 
fault. But I know he never harmed anyone.” 

Sending the girl below, I went to Aarons’ room and 
found the letters. They were exactly what she had stated. 
Myles probably had lost his head through jealousy and 
imagined they were love notes. And, despite the circum- 







Into the LAND of 

HAPPY DREAMS 


“Go after these human ghouls— and get them!” 
were Detective Welch's orders from 
Headquarters when he started 
after Boston's dope ring 

By Detective Lawrence W. Welch 

as told to Bernard G. Priestley, 

Formerly of the Boston Herald 


knows what* may happen,” exclaimed the 
I Captain. “Keep your finger on the trigger, and, 
if necessary, don't hesitate at trying to shoot your 
way out. But go after these human ghouls — get 
them ! Good luck to you.” 

Thanking the Captain for his good wishes, I hurried out 
of the old City Hall Avenue Police Station, Boston, mixed 
into the night crowd and headed for Scollay Square. 

For the time being I wasn’t Special Officer Lawrence W. 
Welch of the City' Hall Avenue Police Station at all. I 
was a “hoppie” up from Providence on a visit. And I was 
bound for a “dope meet.” 

In the next four hours I was to pass through an experi- 
ence at several intervals during which I wouldn’t have given 
a canceled postage stamp for my chances of emerging alive. 
But that’s the story ! 

Claiming that I was an honest -to-goodness “hoppie.” 
which is the underworld vernacular for a person who is a 
confirmed addict of narcotic drugs, certainly wasn’t enough 
on this occasion. I must look the part — and act it too. 

A WRINKLED cap was pulled down over my eyes. My 
** face, naturally somewhat like a pug’s, was made more 
sallow'-appearing by a couple of days’ growth of beard. I 
had put on an old striped sweater under my coat and alto- 
gether I had managed to both look and feel the part. 

As I strode down the street I did not glance back, but 
I knew that before I had gone more than a hundred feet 
tw r o other men had descended the venerable stone steps of 
the old police station and were following along at a reason- 
ably safe distance behind me. They were Special Officer 
Manning, attached to the station, and Inspector William P. 
Scanlon of the Federal drug squad. 

For some days I had been working up my “hoppie” dis- 
guise and practicing the mannerisms of a drug addict. This, 
role I had adopted in connection with a deperate plan 
worked out by the police to try to break up a notorious gang 
of dope peddlers. I knew that the slightest error in my ap- 
pearance or the tinest slip in my actions might mean death. 

I had developed the role to such a perfection, my fellow 
officers said, that when I did the yaw-n and stretch so 


characteristic of a “hoppie” awaiting a new supply of drug. 
I acted almost too natural. 

Arriving in Scollay Square, only a couple of blocks from 
the station, I took up a position by a news-stand next to 
a subw'ay entrance. There I had agreed to meet two 
“hoppies” w'hose acquaintance I had made and painstakingly 
fostered during the past few days. At the proper tim£ we 
were to proceed to the “dope meet.” 

Perhaps the term “dope meet” means nothing to you. 
How many thousand unfortunate wretches there are in this 
world who wish they could truthfully say as much ! Let me 
do a little explaining. 

A “dope meet” might be more correctly called a “dope 
picnic.” A group of dope peddlers — those human rats who 
pray upon narcotic drug addicts by illegal selling of mor- 
phine, cocaine and heroin at exorbitant prices — arranges 
to sell a quantity of drugs in a secret place at a given time. 
The word is passed -around to a few r confirmed drug users. 
They tell others. Twenty to a hundred addicts go to the 
place at the specified hour and buy quantities of drugs. 

At the time I am speaking of, eight years ago — before I 
founded the Expressmen’s Protective League in Boston and 
also established the detective agency that still bears my 
name — Scollay Square was the hang-out of scores and 
scores of drug addicts. Many of them were in the clutches 
of the ring of dope peddlers to which I have referred — a 
gang that was literally forcing them to do anything, even 
sell their bodies and souls, to get the money to end just for 
the moment that maddening, insatiable craving for narcot- 
ics the terrors of w’hich none except a confirmed drug addict 
can even imagine. 

TTHE ring was staging “meets” every few days. The 
* police were amazed at their regularity. Efforts to learn 
of them in advance, so detectives could be plant ed and the 
leaders arrested, proved just so much futile expenditure of 
brains and energy. By the time the police learned of a 
“meet” held in one section of Greater Boston another would 
occur in a section far remote from the first. 

The gang w r as under the leadership of two Italians known 
to the police only as “The Shoemaker” and “Spike.” They 


29 


30 


True Detective Mysteries 



had foiled so many attempts to catch them selling narcotics 
that they were openly defying the police. 

And it must be admitted that the gang worked on a 
system that had no visible weak points. A small group of 
trusted “hoppies” acted as their “tip-off” men, who spread 
the news in the underworld as to when the “meets” would 
be held. These men took good care not to make any mis- 
takes like tipping off “hoppies” who might squeal to the 
police, or worse still, letting a fly cop (policeman in plain 
clothes) know when a “meet” was to be held. The Shoe- 
maker and Spike were continu- 
ally threatening them as to what 
violent things would happen if 
any such errors were made. 

Besides, The Shoemaker and 
Spike had spent a great 
deal of time before start- 
ing their nefarious trade 
in getting acquainted by 
sight with scores and 
scores of narcotic users 
who infested 
Boston’s under- 
world. Before 
dope was passed 
out at a “meet” 
at least one of 
the pair person- 
ally looked over 
every prospec- 
tive buyer. 

Anybody con- 
cerning which 
there was doubt 
was warned to 
beat it while he 
still had feet 
and the control 
of his mind. 

The system 
went a step 
further. The 
“hoppies” had 
to pay over 
their money 
even before 
they got a look at the 
drug. Of the two leaders, 
the one who collected 
the money would never 
be the one who passed 
out the dope. This made 
it impossible to catch 

either The Shoemaker or Spike making the complete trans- 
action of what legally constituted a sale. 

Such was the state of affairs on this night when I slunk 
up by the news-stand near the subway entrance awaiting the 
arrival of my two “hoppie” pals. I was determined to do 
anything in my power to break up this gang. On the other 
hand I realized the danger of my mission — and the Captain’s 
words, “God knows what may happen,” came back to me 
again and again. 

Unconsciously I put my hand into the lower right-hand 
pocket of my coat to make sure my revolver was there. Of 
course it was. A moment later I got a reassuring side glance 
from Special Officer Manning as he and Inspector Scanlon 
passed by. 

“Now come on, my ‘hoppie’ friends, and we’ll be off to the 
‘meet.’ ” I said to myself. 

Within a few minutes they tottered along — Joe and Mike, 
their family names long since dropped lest they bring their 
own shame onto the heads of their relatives. They stood 
huddled near the opposite end of the news-stand, their 


pallid, drawn faces, the picture of misery, their drug-wasted 
bodies a-tremble, as they waited looking forward to the one 
hope — to get the stuff that would relieve their suffering and 
send them once more into the land of happy dreams. 

Soon other “hoppies” began passing by on the sidewalk 
a few feet away, their dull, roaming eyes straining to sight 
someone who would tip them off concerning the “meet.” 
My heart went up into my mouth when two of the addicts 
stopped for a word with my temporary cronies, for I had 
arrested them some weeks before for having narcotic drugs 
in their possession. My pals introduced me as “Jack from 
Providence, up to get a few ‘shots.’ ” 


My apprehension 
over the effec- 
tiveness of my 
disguise, left me 
for the time 
being 


The men 
merely looked me 
over sleepily and passed on. 
Not the slightest sign of 
recognition in their eyes. 
My apprehension over the effectiveness of my disguise left 
me for the time being. 

Another few minutes and the rumbling of a train far 
below in the stibway was followed by a rush of footsteps up 
the stairs, and a crowd of people passed by us out into the 
bright lights. Then followed the scuffle of lagging feet. 
Up the stairs came a short, haggard-looking man wearing a 
dark felt hat. He stared at us questioningly and just as he 
started down the street, turned his head slightly, muttering: 

“End of Viaduct — half an hour.” 

The average person would have seen in this only the 
disconnected mumbling of an absent-minded man. To us it 


True Detective Mysteries 


31 


meant: ‘‘Take a Charles River Viaduct train, get off at the 
further end of the Viaduct. From there you will be escorted 
to the ‘meet/ ” 

As we started down the subway stairs I signaled .to 
Special Officer Manning and Inspector Scanlon by putting 
both hands on my cap and pulling it further down on my 
head. They already knew that the “meet” was scheduled to 
be held at the further end of the Viaduct. At my signal 
they were to speed there in an automobile. 

My pals and I descended to the first level. We had to 
wait about a minute for a Viaduct train to come along. 
Within that brief time a dozen additional “hoppies” had ar- 
rived on the sta- 
tion platform as 
if by magic from 
the churning 


street, the other “hoppies” who had been on the train 
followed in little groups. 

All around us was the curtain of night, except for a 
scattering of street lights that tried in vain to do any kind 
of a job of illuminating the vicinity without aid from other 
sources, for the locality was one chiefly of industrial plants 
which became silent shadows with the coming of night. 

In less than a minute, out of the darkness emerged a 
slinking form that beckoned with a ghostlike hand for us 
to follow. 

Two or three 
of the “hoppies” 


“End of Via- 
duct — half an 
hour,” whis- 
pered the dope 
steerer 



crowd on the street above, among them the two whom I had 
arrested and who I feared would recognize me. Several of 
them slunk into the same car of the train as did my pals and 
I. When I whispered the word around that I was much in 
need of a “shot,” two of them each produced a solitary 
“deck” of dope which they exchanged for one of the dollar 
bills marked “B. P. D.” — Boston Police Department — that 
I carried in the watch pocket of my trousers. 

Only a few minutes* ride and we got off at the end of the 
Viaduct, on the fringe of the Cambridge, near where 
Somerville meets it. As my pals and I descended to the 


nearer to him 
than we were, 
felL in a little 
behind him. My pals 
and I followed suit and 
the rest did likewise. 
As the strange line 
moved down the street, 
many an eye and ear strained for evidence of the pres- 
ence of “lurking cops” who might be interested in the 
proceedings. 

We went only a little way before the line curved into a 
narrow side street, much darker than the main thorough- 
fare. In another minute we filed past a well-known pig 
slaughter-house — almost as lifeless as the animals which had 
passed through it during the day. 

A little way further and we turned into a narrow alley. 
As the guide ordered us to halt. The Shoemaker emerged 
from somewhere out of the darkness. His broad form 



32 



True D etective Masteries 


“Down this alley, 
you big stiff — 
quick! Lead me 
to the street!” 


from his talk, my pal was a colored man. He was short but 
powerfully built. 

Now The Shoemaker thrust his face very close to the 
man nearest him. grumbled as an indication that he passed 
muster and proceeded to repeat the process on the next man 
and the next. My heart began to pound as he drew nearer 
and nearer to me. 

He was only three men away — now two. Would my 
disguise pass his searching inspection? I had deceived the 
drug-users all right. But The Shoemaker <lid not sniff the 
dope — he only sold it. If he hesitated about giving me an 
O. K. what should I do? I didn’t know. 

He looked over the colored man. 

“You all sure knows me. sah,” said he. “Ah sure am a 
good customer too.” 

The Shoemaker grunted “O. K.,” and turned to me. He 
thrust his swarthy, scowling face so close to mine that our 
noses almost touched. His attitude aroused in me an almost 
uncontrollable desire to flatten his ( Continued on page 89) 


stood out threateningly against the pitchy blackness behind 
him. 

“Youse bozos forma tla pairs,” he exclaimed. Although 
he spoke in a low tone, he could not cover up his bossy, hate- 
ful air. “Den keepa da mouths shut,” he added, “and 
steppa da quick and light.” 

Form into pairs! I heard this order with sinking 


“Ah say, Boss,” he said, “what you all t’ink of me and 
you agoin’ together?” 

“I’m wid y\ bo,” I replied. 

Just then a dim light was reflected upon the assemblage 

in some manner 
which I could not 
explain. I saw that, 
as I had suspected 


heart. It meant I must part from my two companions — 
neither of them could be expected to leave the other to shift 
for himself while he accompanied me. Supposing I got one 
of the men I had arrested, and he recognized me? I knew 
what that would mean — the whole gang would set upon me. 

I THRUST my hand into my coat pocket and clutched the 
* trigger of my revolver — prepared to shoot instantly 
through my coat if developments became serious enough to 
warrant it. I hung back to allow the others to get paired up 
first Since the two men whom I had arrested were together 
when I had last seen them in the subway station, probably 
they might stay together. 

After the others had completed pairing into six twos there 
was one man left besides myself and The Shoemaker, the 
guide having disappeared. Seeing I was alone, this un- 
paired man stepped up to me. 


Did the Camera Lie? 

A murderer is apt to **forget something” when 
he hastens from the scene of his crime 
— then, when he remembers , 
it's usually too late 


T was the first Sunday in 
June. 

Only those who have 
suffered the bitter cold of 
a Missouri valley winter, and, 
with the forbearance of a 
Stoic, slopped through the 
rain and slush of early spring can realize the full meaning 
of that “Sunday in June.” 

There was a picnic in rustic Sycamore Park, on the south- 
eastern tip of the city among the bluffs that border the 
Missouri. The golden sunshine filtered through the trees 
and dripped upon the young grass like molten ingots. The 
air was fresh with the fragrance of wild flowers, sought 
by the happy groups scattered among the hills. 

One pair, a boy and a girl, became separated from the 
rest. As they sang their way along a shady, rustic path 
and into a sheltered ravine, they came to a shady nook, 
formed by overhanging trees. 

“Let's sit here awhile,” the girl lisped dreamily. 

There was the silence of a summer day there, broken 
only by the insects and wood folk. As they sat motionless 
and quiet, a low sound came to their ears. 

The boy and girl turned in terror. 

A gagging, strangling groan came from the thicket. The 
groaning continued for a second, then stopped with a queer, 
muffled cry which made their blood run cold. 

The girl clung to the boy's side in terror. Suddenly she 
screamed and pointed. 

Within a few feet of them the hands and arms of a 
woman protruded from under a clump of brush. They 
were motionless — ghastly in their stillness. 

The boy tore himself from the grip of terror, parted 
the brush and saw the body of a woman, lying face down- 
ward. The skull had been mashed by some blunt instru- 
ment. The hair was matted with fresh blood and the 
clothing was torn almost to shreds. 

Mastering his repugnance, he laid his hand on the 
wbman’s breast. It was warm, but he could find no heart 
flutter. He knew that while they had sat there in the beau- 
tiful glen, steeped in the romance of the day, the spark of 
life in this unfortunate unit of humanity had been snuffed 
out. And it was reasonably certain that their singing on 
their care-free, happy way into the ravine had frightened 
away the brute who had committed the crime. 

A FTER searching in vain for a sign of life, the boy, 
** his face chalky white, rose and took the girl by the 
hand and started away. She followed mutely, seemingly 
waiting for him to speak. 

‘Til get the police,” he said as they started away. Then, 
seeming to realize the horror of the thing, they started to 
run and call to the rest of the party. Their breath com- 
ing in short gasps, they told, as best they could, what they 
had found. 

One man, older than the others, sent two of the boys 


back to guard the place where 
the body lay, ordered the rest 
of the party to remain where 
they were and took one of the 
other boys with him to the 

pavilion. Soon the wires 

were buzzing with the news 
of the finding of the body of a woman, brutally murdered, 
in the shadows of one of the lonely glens of Sycamore 
Park. 

Although not on duty, I was sitting in the city room 
of the newspaper office on which I was employed when I 

heard the phone on the city desk ring. Then I heard the 

city editor unlimber a flock of cuss-words, answer, then 
say, “No, Art, you stay there! Jim's here.” 

“Hell’s broke loose up in Sycamore Park,” he said, turn- 
ing to me. “A gang of picnickers found the body of a 
woman with her head beaten in. Art” (Art was the police 
reporter) “missed the dicks. Better get in your car and 
beat it out there.” 

No sooner was it said than I was on my way. I had 
no scruples against letting my foot rest heavily on the 
accelerator. Half-way out, I passed Coroner Steinman in 
his car. 

In less than twenty-five minutes after the boy and girl 
had made their gruesome find, the law was on the spot and 
the relentless wheels of justice had begun their merciless 
grind. 

A FRAGMENT of a gold chain — a chain which in all 
** probability had held a watch — was found under the 
dead woman's head. There was no trace of the watch, and 
the balance of the chain was missing. The fragment was 
the only clue we could find. 

The story sent souvenir hunters tramping the hills, over 
the spot where the crime had been committed. It seemed 
certain that if the officials had overlooked a single clue that 
Sunday afternoon, it would be gone, tramped into the 
ground or carried away. 

For three days the body lay in the city morgue, where 
curious hundreds went to view it in an attempt at identi- 
fication. Sometimes it was a single person hunting a lost 
loved one, sometimes a family from which one was missing, 
and sometimes just a group of morbidly curious. 

At first it was believed the clothing would furnish a clue. 
A canvass of the stores was made. The store which had 
sold the hat was found, but no record had been kept of 
the purchaser. The trail of the corset, almost new and of 
a brand sold by only one store, was taken up next. It was 
found that only two of that size had been sold for two 
months before the murder — one to a woman who was found 
alive and one to an unidentified woman of whom no record 
had been kept. None of the clerks in the department, how- 
ever, remembered selling it to a person of the dead woman's 
description. 

The days slipped along, with the police at sea and the 


By James A. Stapp 

Formerly of the Indianapolis STAR 
and other papers 


33 


34 


True Detective Mysteries 



to go out there on a day like that — it had been raining — but 
he consented. 

So, with nothing more than that hunch, I started out alone 
to solve the murder mystery of Sycamore Park. 

On the way down-stairs I met Joe Burnett, another re- 
porter, and asked him to go with me. 

“What do you expect to find?” he asked. 

“The missing wedding-ring/' was my reply, and again I 
was given a large-sized and full-grown laugh. But he 
agreed to go. 

At the park we beat our way through the wet brush 
until we found the spot in which the woman had lain. It 
was trampled down almost beyond recognition — certainly 
not a promising prospect. 

We examined every stick and every stone within twenty 
or thirty feet of the spot — but, if the wedding-ring ever 
had lain there, it was not there then. 

About the time I was ready to give up, I heard Joe \ 
mutter something to himself, and I went to where he was on 

his knees be- 
neath a drip- 
ping-wet bush. 
He was hold- 


body still unidentified, and now and then someone wander- 
ing into the morgue, looking at the still form and then 
exclaiming : 

“WTiy, I know her — that's Mrs. So-and-so!" 

Detectives would trace Mrs. So-and-so, find her alive and 
the identification would blow up. 


r T , HERE had been little attention paid to the absence of a 
* wedding-ring. The report of the autopsy surgeon was 
that there had been a ring on the third finger and that it 
had been jerked off a short time before death. But it kept 
bothering me. I remembered a nationally known murder 
where the identification of the body, which resulted in the 
running down of the slayer, pivoted on the initials in a 
wedding-ring. Somehow, in my mind, it connected itself 
with this case. 

“Frank," I said to the managing editor, Frank Matson, 
Friday afternoon, “there’s no need of me hanging around 
here. Let me go out to Sycamore Park and look around." 

“What for?" he asked, 
astonished. 

“All week those fellows 


have over- 
looked the fact 
that the wom- 
an's wedding- 

ring is gone," I said. “But the surgeon says it was jerked 
off just before she died. It may be laying around there, 
and if it is there probably are some initials in it." 

His reply was a laugh and to call me a fool for wanting 


ing a scrap of pa- 
per not much larger 
than a half dollar, on which 
was handwriting, letters, 
parts of words. He gave it 
to me and turned back to 
the brush. He picked up four others and I picked up 
two. 

We went back to the car and pieced them together. They 
formed a rent receipt, which read: 



35 


True D etective Mysteries 



No May 31, 1926 

Received of Fred Gellert $50.00 

Fifty & 00/100 Dollars 

For rent of house at 482 Elm Street 
for month ending June 30, 1926 

FRANK HOPKINS 

We went back to the spot and looked 
around again and finally picked up a dirty, 
water-soaked fragment of a newspaper — our 
paper — just enough of it to give us the date. 

With it and the scraps of the receipt, we 
started back to 
the city, to iden- 
tify Frank Hop- 
kins. 

The city direc- 
tory showed two 
of them: one a 
railroad shop- 
man and the 
other the propri- 
etor of a soft- 
drink parlor and 
lunch room — a 
saloon in pre- 
Vol stead days. 

The last men- 
t i o n e d , we 
learned, was out 
of the city and 
not expected to 
return until the 
next day. We 
went to the home 
of the shopman. 

He denied own- 
ing property. 

We went back 
to the office and 
discussed every 
angle of the case 
with Matson, then 
agreed that Burnett and 
l would work on this 
new clue without the 
help of the police. 

The next morning 

we went to Hopkins’ (the proprietor of the soft-drink par- 
lor) place of business. We found him a congenial, talka- 
tive sort of a chap, and, after introducing ourselves as inves- 
tigators from a bonding house, drew him into conversation. 

“Y/ ES, I know Fred Gellert,” he replied to our query. 

* “He’s a neighbor of mine and rents one of my houses. 
He runs that barber shop next door.” Right there I re- 
alized that if this interview was to be a success I would 
have to use all my diplomacy and then trust to fate, or 
whatever it is that puts words in a faltering man’s mouth, 
for more. 

“Did you ever have any business dealings with him,” 
I asked — I imagine rather apprehensively, “other than rent- 
ing the house to him?” 

“No,” came the quick, straightforward reply, and I was 
sure my secret was safe. 

I was certain I was on the right trail, but I feared a 
bend in a road so smooth — I was a long way from estab- 
lishing a connection, if there was one, between that receipt 
and the mystery woman of Sycamore Park. 

“When did he pay his rent last?” I asked. 

“Oh, he’s good pay, all right,” the landlord said. “He 
always pays it the day before it’s due.” 

“And you always give him a receipt?” 

“You bet,” was the quick reply, “then there’s no trouble.” 


May 31st, the date on the receipt we had found, was on 
a Monday. I wanted to make sure there was no hitch, so 
I asked : 


A gagging, 
strangling 
oan came 
r o m the 
thicket 


“He paid you a 
week ago last Mon- 
day, then?” 

“Yes,” he said, “it 
was Monday.” 

I apparently dropped the subject and ordered drinks for 
the three of us. Then, after we had discussed trivial mat- 
ters for several minutes, I pretended I had just thought 
of something else and asked the former saloon-keeper ,if 
Gellert was a married man. 

“Oh, yes, he’s married, and got a little girl,” Hopkins 
replied. 

That was something. But I had failed to connect the 
barber with the mystery woman any more than that a re- 
ceipt bearing his name had been found near where the body 
had lain — a week after the finding of the body. 

“Is he a drinking man?” I continued, determined to learn 
all I could about him. 

“Oh, he drinks a little beer now and then,” he said, hastily 
adding — “that is, near-beer.” Apparently Hopkins realized 
he might be incriminating himself as a bootlegger. 

“ |"Y OES he take it home ?” I asked. Not until then had 
it occurred to me that the newspaper we found had 
light-brown stains on it. How close was that guess, I 
probably never will know. 

“No, I don’t believe he takes it home. But sometimes 
he does take some out in the country, a couple of bottles 
or so, when he goes on a picnic. Just Saturday night he 
bought two bottles — said he was going to the country on 
a little picnic.” ( Continued an page 75) 


The 

SEVEN Who DIED 



There came a 
knock at the 
door! 


France and Germany at once became apparent. This was 
just before the outbreak of the Great War. 

Meanwhile I had fallen in love with a beautiful Spanish 
girl, Carmelita Perez, whom I first met at the roulette tables 
in the Casino at Enghien-les- Bains, a small town,, eleven 
minutes out of Paris by rail. 

The night I met Carmelita, the croupier at my table handed 
me 200,000 francs. I had broken the bank in one of the 
most spectacular ‘"runs” ever witnessed at Enghien. And that 
very night I was attacked by thugs that I afterward found 
out were Cannelita's confederates. But I did not find out 
this astounding fact right then, and I call it an astounding 
fact because it was just that to me. I had in the meantime 
become engaged to marry Carmelita. It goes without saying 
that I trusted her. 

But the worst was yet to befall 
me. Carmelita inveigled out of me 
the precious formula of the poison 
gas, and, happy in the thought that 
there were now no secrets between 
us — as befits two persons who are 
about to become man and wife — 
off we started, bound for the vil- 
lage of St. Marcelle, about fifty 
miles from Paris, where Carmelita 
had friends who would be 
witnesses, and a friendly 
civil official who would 
officiate — so she 
said. 

It was all a lie, 


A NUMBER of years ago, 
j \ seven murders were com- 
/ \ mitted in various rather 

widely separated points in 

the United States, and because of the fact that close by each 
murdered person a small roulette wheel was found, it was 
naturally believed that all seven of these gruesome crimes 
were executed, or at least, instigated, by the same person. 
The police were right. 

I am that person. 

To explain this, also why my story is being presented for 
publication, I must go back to the days when I was a student 
at Paris, taking a post-graduate course in chemistry. At that 
time, by a mere accident, while making a chemical experi- 
ment, I discovered a strange, new kind of gas, of such potent 
death-dealing quality that its value to the governments of 


and I was soon to learn the bitterness of 
being a 44 fool in love” — which phrase ex- 
exactly describes me as I was at that time. The girl led me 
into a place where I supposed the magistrate was awaiting us 
and a few moments later I woke up to find myself a prisoner 
in an asylum for the insane. 

Carmelita and her gang had what they had started out to 


36 


Bitterly as “Roulette” has suffered, he stakes his 
all on the word of a woman, and finds 
that that woman is 



get — the formula for the poison gas, 
and I figured that young Duval, one 
of her mob, probably was an agent 
for the German Government, though this was simply my own 
idea of it. Anyhow, they had turned the trick neatly, using 
Carmelita as their lure, and I was left to face bare, grey 
walls. 

There followed a period of two months that I will pass 
over quickly. It is miraculous that I didn’t go insane my- 
self, being locked up with raving 
maniacs as I was. 

Then one day came the appalling 
news. 

One of the patients 
had received visitors 
and they left him a 
newspaper. The front 
page head-line pro- 
claimed that 
Germany had 
declared war 


By One Who Lived 




emotion and that emotion is patriot- 
ism. Excitement was at a fever 
heal. It seemed to me that my time 

had come. 

That night, after reading of the terrible havoc that had 
been reaped with the poison gas which I had been un- 
fortunate enough to in- 
vent, I was beside myself 
with despair and anxiety. 
I was ready to risk all on 
my chances of escape. A 
spoon which I had sharp- 
ened to the fineness of a 
razor blade spelled death 
to any one who stood in 
my way, and I was pre- 
pared to kill, if necessary, 
without compunction, 
rather than spend 
another day in this 
house of hell. 

The death of these 
boys in the trenches, 
which no one could 


I waited, my every 
sense alert, my 
heart almost at a 
standstill 


on France, and 
was marching 
into Belgium ! 

The news set 
the place in a 
frenzy. The pa- 
tients, with one exception (which was me, for I am an 
American), were all French. The French have one real 


tell me was 
otherwise than 
through the 
fiendish instrument of national venge- 
ance that I had invented, stood heavy 
within me. Like rats they had died, 
with never a chance for their lives, having no place 
to turn from which they could escape this destruc- 
tion that was sprayed on them from the air. That was my 
fault, I felt. Is it any wonder that I became almost a 


37 




38 


True D etective Mysteries 


madman in that hour ? — that my heart was as lead within me 
and my thoughts wild and unthinkable by any sane person? 

Just what I intended to do when I emerged from this 
house of my illegal detention I had no clear notion, except 
this one thought: 

During my experiments I had contrived a sort of mask 
that shielded me from the dreadful fumes that rose about 
me. I would give the directions to the French military au- 
thorities for the making of a mask of this kind; perhaps 
that would help a little. It turned out later that they de- 
vised such a mask without my assistance, but, of course, I 
could not know that at this time. 

^^HAT else 1 could do, I had hardly an idea. I would 
™ give Perez twlio was said to be Carmel ita's father) 
and hi* gang, up to justice — if possible. But I considered 
that they had probably decamped from France ere now. Out- 


intentional ly. That would have been poetic justice. It did 
not occur to me at that time — though it did occur to me 
later — that if I got out, the French military authorities, 
knowing the poison gas had been my invention, would prob- 
ably arrest me as a spy, and execute me. I had refused to 
deal with the French Government’s representative, Colonel 
Gaveau, when he approached me on the matter, anti on this 
evidence and the fact that later it developed the German Gov- 
ernment was in possession of my deadly secret, it would have 
been a very simple and easy thing to convict me. No court 
martial in its right mind would have believed that I was ac- 
tually innocent. I think even the intervention of the Ameri- 
can Ambassador would not have been enough to save me. 

I did not think of that, however, at this time, when I went 
about my plans and preparations to escape. 

My plan was simple, and was based on my observation 
and knowledge of conditions. It w*as the custom for those 



side of that I had 
no particularly 
clear idea of just what 
I w r anted to do. 

Still, I might enlist 
in the French Foreign 
Legion, that regiment 
of dare-devil scamps 
gathered together from the fighting slums of the world. 
In this company I could fight, and perhaps in that w r ay wipe 
out the stain that I felt enveloped my soul, and perhaps I 
could die for the country I felt I had wronged, though un- 


Shc had dropped her mask for that instant, 
and I saw the treacherous serpent that lay 
beneath 


of us w'ho were not violent and considered danger- 
ous, to have dinner together in the general ward 
dining-room, after which we w'ent to our several cells. At 
the end of dinner, as I knew, the Director. Doctor Marceau, 
generally sat for a few' minutes in his office, at the very 
front of the building, and those of us who had anything w'e 
wished to communicate could ask permission to go to him. 
This permission was usually accorded. He always received 
his visitors alone, which was rather courageous on his part. 
Outside of his door there were generally two guards, but 
inside of the room he was alone. 

This office of his was at the very front of the building. 
In front of his window was the garden and the road that 
led to the gate — a large iron affair that was locked, w'ith two 
guards always standing before it. These guards had no 
key to the high gate, which was always opened, when neces- 
sary, by a button which was attached to Doctor Marceau's 
desk, and which he clicked when he wished the gate to open. 


39 


True Detective Mysteries 


It worked electrically, and noiselessly. That is, when he 
clicked the button, the lock would be released, though 
the gate would stand shut as before. All one had to do then 
was to push it open. Otherwise it was quite immovable. 

1VAY plan was to ask permission to talk to Doctor Marceau, 
f *1 g et j n t 0 j|j s office, and in some way dispose of him — 
overpower him noiselessly by one means or another. I did 
not want to have to use my knife on him, but I would if 
it became necessary. Having done this, I would work the 
button that opened the gate. The guards standing in front 
of it would not know, of course, that the catch had been 
released, as it was a noiseless affair. All this I had found 
out by discreet and careful investigation. 

At to getting out of the office of Doctor Marceau, that 
would be simple. There were two guards always before 
his door, so I would not use the door at all. I would sim- 
ply step out of one of his large French windows to the 
balcony, drop down into the garden, work my way noise- 
lessly and swiftly to the gate, catch the guards by surprise 
ami be through the gate before they had time to recover. 
If they caught me in time, I would throw a handful of 


“Wait here,” he said, “and 111 go and ask permission.” 

I waited in the corridor while the rest of the patients 
filed away to their cells, and in a few moments the guard 
returned. 

“It's all right,” he said. “Come along.” 

He conducted me down the corridor and around the bend 
that led to the office, and handed me over to the two guards 
that stood before the door, who nodded to me pleasantly. 
In a moment I was inside the room, and the door closed be- 
hind me. 

Doctor Marceau was standing at the window with his 
back to the room when I entered, but turned at the closing 
of the door. He greeted me with a smile as I joined him 
at the window. Usually he sat at his desk and the patient 
talked to him from in front of the desk, but to-night he 
seemed in an especially good mood, and he stayed at the 
window talking with me, which made what I had to do 
much easier. 

“Ah, Roulette,” he said with a smile (Roulette was my 
nickname), rubbing his hands together in the professionally 
genial way that I hated, “and what can we do for you this 
evening?” It was a form of address that I disliked in- 


“'T'HE dust dropped from my eyes instantly, and I became as cool 
A as ice . . . In that instant I believe Carmelita saw that noth- 
ing on this earth could save her. The color was drawn from her 
face as she shrank back from me. Her eyes were wide, but still 
defiant Not a sound came from her. 

“I approached her and . 


99 


pepper into ’their eyes to blind them. If that was not 
enough, I would use my knife. 

Once out on the road I felt convinced of my ability to 
get away. The underbrush was thick in the neighborhood, 
and I felt I could elude my pursuers until morning. I did 
not think they would dare to put up too much of an open 
fight, if I managed to make my way to a police station. 
The character of this business, and their share in it. were* a 
trifle too shady for that. The ground was far tpo thin for 
them to cause any open trouble. Their only hope, I thought, 
would be to recover me before I could get to the police, or 
to any other authority. 

So much for my plan. It was a very simple one, and I 
thought I had a fair chance of success. For some days I 
had been on very good and intimate terms with the director, 
and I knew he would be quite unsuspicious of me. That 
was what I depended upon— catching him by surprise. A 
surprise attack is the best of all military plans, as any 
strategist will tell you. 

I PREPARED to carry it out. Before going in to dinner 
* I went to my cell and removed the spoon which I had 
sharpened to razor fineness from my mattress, placing it in 
my pocket, where I could get my hand upon it instantly. I 
also took a handful of black pepper which I had procured, 
and which was wrapped up in a small bit of paper. This I 
also placed in my pocket. 

I ate slowly and w'ith outward calm, though within me 
was a furnace of anticipation and excitement. At the con- 
clusion of the dinner I remarked to the guard nearest me 
that I wished to speak to the Director in his office. The 
guard nodded. 


tensely, and it irritated me, but I concealed it, smiling back 
at him quite as genially. 

“A great deal, Doctor,” I said. “You could release me, 
of course.” 

“Yes, I suppose I could,” he replied slowly, catching up 
the spirit in which I had spoken. “That would be pleasant.” 
There was a short silence. Then : “Is there any other 

slight thing that you wish me to do for you — or will that 
be all for the present?” 

“I THINK that would be quite enough for one time,” 
* I commented, smiling back at him, edging just a little 
closer, and measuring my distance. 

What I intended to do had to be done exactly right the 
first time. There would be no chance to try it a second 
time. That I knew. So. I stood close to him, measuring 
him for my blow just as a marksman measures, or esti- 
mates, his range before shooting. 

“At what time would you like to go, Roulette?” he asked. 
“You see, it might be incon ” 

That was as far as he got. And it was the last word he 
spoke for some time, for with all my strength my right hand 
came up in the good old right hook to the point of the jaw 
that every American boxer is familiar with. His head 
snapped back and he staggered, and that instant my left 
hand came up, catching him full on the other side of the 
jaw, just as he was falling. 

He fell straight back, dead to the world. The first thing 
hitting the parquet floor being the back of his head. That 
was that. 

I leaped instantly to feverish work. I tore the portiere 
cords from the curtains, dragged ( Continued on page 69) 


Was This Woman Crazy ? 


Impenetrable mystery clouded the vicious 
slaying of Henry Simmons— then one dark 
night Burton Chadwick found 

By BURTON CHADWICK, Professor of Biology 

As told to Elynore Baker Quinn 


I T is just ten years ago to-night that Henry Simmons 
met his death. The case, you will remember, went down 
on the police blotter unsolved. Well, to give the police 

their due, it was unsolved, and yet 

No, I wasn't the coroner, nor the sheriff. I was not even 
the murderer, which I know was a disappointment to some. 
So many people have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt 
that I did the deed that I am beginning to feel a little 
delicate about waiving the title to it In point of fact, how- 
ever, I am merely a professor of biology — a shy, retiring 
soul with a penchant for rare specimens of butterflies, and 
the means to indulge it. 

At the time of the murder, as now, I was living quietly 
at my country home, doing nothing more villainous in my 
leisure hours than studying the winged beauties I captured 
in the nearby fields and poring over such excellent treatises 
as Hermann’s Lepidopterous Insects in Their Native 
Haunts. Manslaughter, murder, mayhem — all were words 
I had seen on the printed page, but they meant little to me. 
They mean a great deal now. But, to get to my story. 

On the night of Henry Simmons’ untimely decease my 
family consisted of myself, aged forty-eight, my wife, 
Martha, (age withheld), and a really very fine maid who 
went by the piquant name of Daisy.* 

In the unused “L” of our summer home lived Sinfmons, 
the gardener, a morose fellow of about fifty years who had 
been with us exactly two months. He was an exceptionally 
fine gardener, as gardeners go, which caused us to overlook 
an unfortunate crabbedness of disposition, for, when you 
come right down to it, it was a gardener we wanted, not a 
companion. What caused his sour outlook I cannot say. 
I ceased abruptly to cultivate him after the day I absently 
pursued a magnificent specimen of chrysophanns thoe 
through his newly-seeded phlox beds. 

/~\N the Friday night in question Martha and I had gone 
^ into town to see the opening performance of Lampdon’s 
Creole Days , returning between eleven and twelve o’clock. 
Martha went directly to her bedroom on the second floor, 
but I, having divested myself of that barbarity known as a 
boiled shirt and put on a lounging robe, retired to my snug 
study on the first floor to smoke and read a spell. But I 
did no reading that night, nor for many nights to come, 
for, in my own swivel chair, directly facing the door, sat 
the late Henry Simmons, leering insolently at me — quite 
dead. 

Now, according to the hocus-pocus of the modern cinema, 
I should have advanced fearlessly, felt his heart, taken his 
finger-prints, installed a dictograph, unearthed the murderer 


— and then notified the police. I did none of these things. 
On the contrary, I emitted a feeble yell and fled upstairs 
into the sanctum of my spouse. 

“My dear!” I shrilled hysterically, “my dear, he’s dead!” 
Martha continued to brush her hair with that detached 
air with which she greets my enthusiasms. Time was 
when, to please me, she’d pretend a riotous joy at the sight 
of a pair of beady eyes or a delicately mottled stomach, but 
that was before the day I thoughtlessly deposited a dissected 
moth in her hair receiver, thereby causing it to be incor- 
porated in her new transformation. 

“Well, really. Burton,” she murmured, abstractedly, “he 
isn’t the first one you’ve killed, you know.” 

I was shaking from head to foot. 

“B-but I don’t mean a b-butterfly. I mean the gardener 
— Si-simmons. He's downstairs, dead!” 

It is significant of the character of Martha that she did 
not faint. Quite the reverse. She had turned, hair-brush 
poised in air, and was studying me incredulously. Finally, 
convinced of my terror, with quiet determination she drew 
her dressing-gown carefully about her and led me down 
the stairs and into the studio without a word. 

AT the door it seemed as though I simply could not prod 
my feet over the threshold, and yet, except for that 
gruesome figure in the chair, everything was exactly as I 
had left it earlier in the evening. The old man might just 
have been sitting there gazing at us with his customary 
malice were it not for the odd, almost arrested, look in his 
glazed eyes, the small discolored lump over his right temple, 
and the dark, still moist flakes of mud that streaked the 
carpet in the path of the door. As late as this, I cannot 
contemplate those mud-tracks without a shiver of distaste. 
They were the cause of untold trouble to me; in fact, even 
to this day their sinister shadow hangs over my house. 

“We must call the police,” said Martha, evenly, only the 
heightened color in her cheeks and the white line about her 
lips testifying to the tumult within her. 

. “We must call the police.” I echoed, in feeble tones, 
feeling, somehow, as though a net were slowly tightening 
about me. A detective from the city was among the first to 
arrive. He was one of those thunderous fellows you read 
about in books, and you could tell that here was a task right 
after his own heart. You 9ee, there arc not many murders 
each year in our quiet village, so that when one does come 
along it finds not only the villagers but the entire surround- 
ing neighborhood as ripe for the chase as a girl with her 
third gray hair. 

He soon incurred the enmity of Martha by repeatedly 


40 


41 


True D elective Mysteries 


depositing the ash of his ill-smelling cigar in the Delft vase 
tin; Ainsleys had brought us from Doom, hut he was en- 
tirely unaware of this. He swung his unwieldy bulk 
pompously about the room, finger- 
ing this, studying that, emitting 
low whistles, and, when the Delft 
vase was not within 
reach, surreptitiously 
flicking his ash behind 
the divan. 

With a mag- 
nificent gesture 
he summoned 
my entire 


“My dear fellow,” I replied, with wdiat I considered 
admirable suavity, “I was at the theater. A most delightful 

performance it was, too, and I ” 

“Aw, am the chatter, mister,” he cut in. “This 
ain’t no bedtime talk. What time did you get 
back?” 

1 could feel the red creeping around the back 
of my neck. Confound the fellow. He was 
a boor. 



“B-but I don’t mean a b-butterfly. I 
mean the gardener — Si-simmons. He s 
downstairs, dead!” 


household — as 1 have said, consisting of my wife, 

Daisy and myself. 1 think he was disappointed 
that we numbered only three, having probably read some- 
where that every high-grade murder has at least one East 
Indian maid or a capricious ghost that whistles through 
keyholes. 

He turned his attention to me first. 

“Where were yon when this happened?” he bellowed. 

I bristled. There was no need of emphasizing me in 
particular, but at a warning look from my wife, I resolved 
not to lose my temper. 


“At half 
past eleven,” I 
answered, allowing a faint 
note of hauteur to creep 
into my voice. 

“Yeh? Well, who found him?” 

“I found him.” 

“Where was your wife at the time?” 

“Upstairs in her room.” 

His eye lighted evilly. “So! And you were down here 
alone with the old geezer !” 

“The geezer?” 

“Aw, snap into it, mister. How long were yon dcnvn here 
alone until him f — answer me that!” 



42 


True D elective Mysteries 



A cold sensation crept along my spine. Upon my word, 
I believe the fellow suspected me. 

“My dear man, I couldn’t have been with him but a short 
time. The minute I saw him I ran right up-stairs and 

called my wife, and then we both ran down-stairs, and ” 

“Yee-aah!” he drawled, derisively, “so’s your old man!” 
I have since learned that this is a form of current slang. 
People say “so’s your old this” and “so’s your Aunt that,” 
meaning, properly, “I do not believe you,” but at that time 
“so’s your old man” meant less than nothing to me. It was 
as though he had suddenly quoted an algebraic formula. It 
only bewildered me and I showed 
it, I suppose. 

“When did you hire this man?” 
he demanded harshly. 


“Jennie!” 

I cried 
h o a rsely, 

“Jennie!” 

Now this was 
the one question I 
had been dreading. 
In point of fact, my hiring of the gardener had been slightly 
irregular. He had come to the door at a time when the 
front lawn looked like a wheat field in the year of plenty 
and we had taken him to our bosoms as a direct gift of 
Providence. Far from asking him any questions, we merely 
indicated the location of our only scythe, and later, sat 
watching him cut great swaths up and down and around 
the lawn. 

Naturally, I hesitated when that blustering bulldog shot 


his question. You can appreciate my position. Whatever 
I might say would only drive another nail into the gallows 
he was building for me. 

“Why, he sort of came to the door; said he was a good 
gardener, so we — er — we kept him.” 

I ran a moist finger around my collar. 

“Is zat so /” he drawled, sarcastically, flipping his expired 
cigar stub back of the radiator. Then suddenly his manner 
changed. “Now lookit here, mister. I ain’t goin’ to take 
any nonsense from you or ( anyone else in this house,” (here 
he included the frozen Martha in his glance) “I’m up here 
to find the murderer of this man and I’m goin’ to find him !” 
Him! Was there any significance in that “him”? True, 

I had hired the old man cat-in-a-bag fashion, had had heated 
words with him over the trodden phlox, and lastly, had had 
the extreme misfortune to find him dead in my own study. 
But what about that mud on the rug quite obviously left by 
the killer? They could not lay that at my door, for not a 
speck of mud was visible on either my clothing or my 
shoes on that fateful Friday night, since I had come 
directly up the gravel path upon arrival. Those mud flakes 
were the evidence that might save me. I cherished the 
thought of them as a dog cherishes a bone, for come what 
might, old Sherlock would have to account for them 
before he closed his net about me. 

From me he went his unenlightened way to Daisy. 

Now, in every well-woven mystery, the maid is an 
^ object of suspicion. She is usually a foreigner who 

listens at keyholes, who drops 
the gleaming knives of her 
country at the wrong time, 
who shrieks hideously in ex- 
otic languages. She may be 
so stupid, she thinks a night 
club is a weapon, 
but let her become 
involved in a 
murder and she will 
utter the most or- 
acular sentences, 
any one of which 
might be construed 
a hundred different 
[ways. 

Poor Daisy 
neither dropped nor 
uttered anything. 
She was not even a 
foreigner. As the 
facts stand, she had 
a toothache that 
took her moaning 
up to bed on the 
night of the crime, 
and which takes her 
right out of this 
tale now. 

Even at this early date 
you can see for yourself 
that this is no ordinary 
murder. No maid is sus- 
pected, no bewildered tramps have been arrested, no veiled 
women or bearded men have dropped around to view the 
corpse. No one lias even thought of ransacking my desk. 
Indeed, if you wish to split hairs about the matter, you 
might say you really have no murder at all, since you have 
no murderer. 

But to proceed. Things rode along in the air for the next 
day or two. The detective did his best, but, though he took 
no pains to conceal his suspicion of me. either from me or 
from the village at large, he found nothing upon which he 
could base an arrest. He had had everyone else in the 
village up on the carpet,’ too, from the one-eyed vegetable 


True Detective Mvsteries 


43 



man who calls daily to looney old Jennie Briggs who lives 
in extreme poverty on the other side of the orchard, and 
who makes a few* pennies now and then doing odds and 
ends about the house under Martha’s hawklike eye. Jennie 
is feeble-minded under the most felicitous circumstances 
but when that roaring sleuth from the city got hold of her 
and bellowed at her, she degenerated into nothing more than 
a babbling idiot and he was forced to let her go. 

I am convinced that with Simmons’ interment (at the 
expense of the village), the whole unfortunate 
incident would have blown over had not the 
murderer singled me out for attention the next 
Saturday night, just a week and a day after the 
deed. I had had a really de- 
lightful dinner and was sitting 
on the veranda, pipe in mouth, 


- 




is all I remember, for when consciousness returned. I was 
lying prone on my back under an apple-tree, a terrific throb- 
bing in my temples, and in my ears the faint exasperated 
voice of Martha calling me into the house. 

Resentfully I staggered to my feet. The assault seemed 
so unprovoked. Far from being offensive to the murderer 
I was a godsend — for did not every one (barring Martha 
and the loyal Daisy) suspect me of the crime? Why should 
I be murdered by the murderer when my very existence 
guaranteed him immunity from suspicion? 

I plodded painfully back to the house. 
Some blunt instrument had been used to* 
strike me, possibly the 
very one that had put an 
end to the hapless Sim- 
mons. This thought in 
no way filled me with 
merriment. Was I to 
be the next victim? 

My brain cleared 
somewhat as I 
walked along, 
mulling over 
the inexplic- 
able attack 
and, as reason 
began to as- 
sert itself, I 
resolved to 
say nothing of 
my exploit. A 
hue and cry 
about being 
hit on the 
head would 
only alarm 
Martha, who, 
heaven knows, 
had had trials 
enough during 
the past week 
and then, too, 
it would only 
put the mis- 
creant further 


on his guard. 
And anyway, 
besides being struck 
with the club, I had 
been struck with a 
clever idea which, in 
itself, would have been 
quite beyond the 


as near to peace as I had been for many a day, when some 
evil genii put it into my head to take a small stroll before 
retiring. 

Quite without the alleged premonitions of the average 
victim, I cut leisurely across the soft loam of the orchard 
that lay back of the house, and I remember noting how 
brightly my pipe gleamed in the inky blackness of the 
moonless night. Unfortunately for the cause of truth, that 


conception of my wife. 

She greeted me caustically from the back steps as I 
emerged into view. 

“Well! Where have you been?’' 

I mumbled something about having gone for a walk, but 
all at once I felt, rather than saw. her eye me sharply. 

“Why, Burton Chadwick ! You’re mud from head to foot ! 
Where have you been?” ( Continued on page 81) 



Confessions of a 

Jim Kendall pits his wits against a group of 
he means to get theirs . Will he 


T HE desire to make money 
easily, without the long hours 
of toil other men spent grind- 
ing away their lives, turned me 
early in life to confidence work. It took me many years and 
cost me many heartaches to learn the truth : I had picked 

the “hard way to make an easy living.” 

My first venture in crime made me a powerful and bitter 
enemy and lost me the girl I loved, the girl who might have 
shaped my life to better ends. But when I tried to forge a 
will that would have put a fortune into the hands of Charlie 
Higgins and myself, how was I to know that I was to lose 
not only the fortune but Mary as well ? 

In retaliation for poisoning Mary's mind against me, I 
vowed I’d follow Charlie Higgins and exact from him a full 
accounting. I had worked a shell game at circuses, swindled 
hundreds of gamblers with marked cards and had made 
something of a reputation for myself as a “wise one,” under 
the tutelage of an old grifter, Gil Hawkins by name. And 
with my quest for Higgins still uppermost in my mind, I 
tried a race-track swindle at the old Bennings track, near 
Washington, about a year before the law closed that famous 
race -course. 

One of my intended victims was a man named David- 
son. With the aid of Nell Tyler, a woman I had met pre- 
viously, and whom I more than half suspected w*as H^rsel f a 
grifter, Davidson took me for close to $35,000 at the track 
in as neat a manner as I ever had seen a swindle pulled — or 
pulled myself. 

As soon as I had discovered my loss, I charged tli rough 
the crowd at the track, hot on the trail of Davidson and the 
woman — determined to get back my money or die in the 
attempt. 

A prize boob I had proven myself! Beaten at my own 
game and for no less than thirty-five grand. In my build-up 
before I “took” Harvey Davidson, and when he had come out 
to the race-track, I had had to show confidence in him by 
letting him carry the strong box with the money. I hadn’t 
dreamed he was w'ise to me, and least of all had I thought he 
had anything to do with Nell Tyler. 

In that moment I paused while I traced that triumphant 
laughter and so identified my Nemesis, I knew' what I should 
do. I plunged through the crowd, elbowing and shoving and 
dodging, making what speed I could on my way to the side 
gate. Arrived there, I saw that I had guessed wrong as to 
the place where my man would leave, or else he had been too 
quick for me. 

It was useless for me to try to locate him in the crowds 
leaving the track. One man can hide entirely successfully in 
a crowd of ten thousand. I had made capital of this fact 
more than once myself. For the moment I’d have to let that 
end of the pursuit go. I still had Davidson’s address. I’d 
go hunt him up later in the afternoon. I turned my atten- 
tion to the girl. 

When she had taken that ride on a night that was under 
the spell of an intoxicating full moon and had told me she 
was desperately in love with me, I half believed her. I 
wouldn’t commit myself with her by telling her so; my natu- 
ral caution prevented. Now I was equally satisfied that she 
had played a con-man’s game, waiting her chance to take me 


for what money she could get. All 
right. From now on she was fair 
game to me. 

I want to make clear in this con- 
nection one point that is important with con-men. They 
never waste time going after revenge. They have another 
method of retaliation for injury. And that is the method 1 
set out to follow. 

I went back through the crowd to the spot where I had 
seen Nell Tyler, heard the laugh that must have meant sweet 
revenge to her. I felt sure she would be waiting near by, 
for the reason that I knew' that she would want the chance 
to crow over me if she could. And if I found her, I had 
every intention of talking to her as if I had met an old friend 
and was pleased to see her again. I felt sure that Davidson 
was her brother. I also knew she didn’t know’ I suspected it. 

Sure enough, although the last race was being run at that 
very moment, she had hardly left the spot where I had 
seen her. 

“How do you do. Miss Tyler?” I said, going up to her side, 
my hat in my hand, a smile on my face. I was boiling mad, 
smarting not only because of the loss of the money, but more 
because vanity had suffered a heavy blow. 

“Well,” she said, a sparkle in her big black eyes, the cor- 
ners of her mouth curved slightly, “I hardly expected to see 
you so soon — or so friendly. Remember, the last time we 
met you as much as told me I was a millstone around your 
neck. You ordered me from your hotel, under threat of 
violence. Well — well ! this is a surprise.” 

“You may well be sarcastic,” I said, careful that my state 
of mind would in no way betray itself. “But I don’t think 
there’s any cause to be. I admit I was hasty, and said some 
things I shouldn’t. Since I saw' you I’ve been thinking I 
have been mistaken about you. We can at least be friends 
— and maybe I’ll soon be able to return the affection you 
claimed you held for me. That’s as you wished things to 
be, isn't it?” 

For a second it seemed to me she lost her breath. Cer- 
tainly she w r as on the alert, looking for a pitfall. She sensed 
I knew something. Certainly she knew' I had just lost a 
fortune. My easy manner in view of that loss completely 
baffled her. But she could do nothing but fall back into the 
role she had played while she lived at the Old National. She 
didn’t dare give herself away. 

“How are they running for you to-day?” I asked, taking 
for granted that she could have no answer to my former 
question but an affirmative. 

When I switched the talk to the track, which I did de- 
liberately in order to get on more casual grounds, she 
seemed relieved. 

“Oh, I made a little. Fourteen dollars or thereabouts. I 
had the winner in the second, also the fifth.” 

“Well,” I said, taking out my watch, “I have an appoint- 
ment back at the hotel, and I must be going. I’ll want to 
have dinner with you soon. How about to-morrow?” 

“Why — why, I’d like nothing better. I’m staying at the 
Shelbourne. Ill be expecting you — to-morrow,” and there 
was a far-away look in her eyes as she said the last. Was 
the woman sincere when she said she loved me, and re- 
gretted taking a natural revenge for my turning her down 


By One of Them 


44 


CONFIDENCE MAN 


swindlers who mean to get his money — and 
be clever enough for them, or 



I like you 
much better 
— a s you 
were to-night, 
Jim” 


coldly? Or, was she playing me from the first, worried now 
lest she had given away too much, worried because she 
couldn’t understand my attitude? Try as I would, I couldn’t 
tell. But regardless of the woman, I had on my hands the 


business of locating Davidson and the recovery of my money. 

Without delay I w’ent to the Hartwell House, on Capitol 
Hill. It was here that I had met Davidson twice while I 
was building him for # a trimming. The clerk at the desk 


45 


46 


True Detective Mysteries 


recognized me, for I had no more than walked up to him 
when he volunteered: “Mr. Davidson checked out not 

fifteen minutes ago. Said he had to be in New York by 
midnight. . . . No, he didn't leave a forwarding address. 
I guess he don't expect no mail.” 

I KNEW that the clerk told me the truth — knew also that 
* I stood nicked for a fat bank roll — knew as well that the 
“New York by midnight” was a stall. He might be on a 
train bound for New Orleans, he might be going to Chicago, 
he might be within two miles of me here in Washington. I 
couldn't tell. All I knew was one cardinal idea that I have 
followed, relentlessly, and that stood by me then as well as 
dozens of times since. A man is never licked unless he 
allows himself to be licked by admitting it in his own mind. 

When a con-man is trimmed, instead of going after his 
“trimmer” for revenge in the usual sense, he lays for his 
man and gives him a beating up the trin\mer isn't likely to 
forget in a hurry. After that, he watches for his oppor- 
tunity to trim the trimmer. Con-men are master psycholo- 


to me enthusiastically, it seemed. I pressed her hand warmly. 

“Call me Jim,” I said, “won't you — Nell ?'* thereby setting 
the pace for a chatty, easy, informal evening. 

“Delighted — Jim,” she returned, and though a slight frown 
puckered her dark brows, there was a faint smile at the 
corners of her mouth. What was this woman — sincere and 
honest with herself and her emotions professedly fastened 
on me? — or was she a dyed-in-the-wool con worker? I’d 
give plenty to know : but I .did know this : in carrying out 
my plan, I had matched my wits against a foeman worthy 
of my steel. 

I took her to the Ormande, where certain of the diplomatic 
world of Washington dined in formal dress, with news- 
paper men and writers and others of a more Bohemian cast 
lending an air of gaiety to the place. The walls were lined 
with autographed photos of statesmen and other celebrities, 
the food excellent, the service good — altogether, the 
Ormande was just the place for the starting of my play. 

Through the meal I chatted about the experiences I had 
had at the circus, some of the methods of breaking fractious 


“'T'HAT was the scheme. I was to give Nell's mob fifty thousand 
dollars for the pitture. I was to take it at once to sell to Mallison. 
But — between the time the mob had my fifty thousand, and the time 
I was to conclude the bargain with Mallison, Nell and the mob and 
Mallison would be on their way to Honkong, or some other distant 
point 

“It was up to me to outwit them.” 


gists; they realize the futility of retaining in the mind and 
the emotions poisonous thoughts of “getting even,” and the 
like. Fight one — get the emotional resentment over with — 
then take your man if you get the chance. And let it go 
at that. 

My purpose in going after Davidson was of course to 
take from him the strong box he had taken from me. If I 
had caught him before he left the race-track, well and good. 
Since I didn't, and since I couldn't locate him at his hotel 
while the strong box was still on him (more than likely he 
had thrown it away by now), I considered it a waste of time 
to lay on his trail. I had something much more subtle in 
mind. 

I resolved ^to give Davidson another opportunity to take 
my money. In so doing I meant to get back what I had 
lost to him — and if possible a good bit more. And I re- 
solved to do this through his sister, Nell Tyler. 

Of course I could have located Davidson through Nell 
Tyler, because I felt sure he would sooner or later communi- 
cate with her — no doubt to share with her the money he had 
taken from me. But I passed up this procedure, because it 
was no part of my plan. 

IT may seem like boasting, but I knew that Nell Tyler would 
* be at the Shel bourne Hotel that next night to meet me. 
How did I know it? I'll say it was because I knew human 
beings. I've already said that con-men are master psycholo- 
gists. Her natural woman's curiosity would make her meet 
me, if only to see why I didn’t whine at the loss she knew I 
had sustained. And sure enough, when I got to the Shel- 
boume, dressed carefully to please a feminine eye, she was 
there waiting for me in the lobby. 

“So glad to see you, Mr. Kendall,” she said, coming up 


horses I had used, and about other impersonal subjects, all 
with the purpose of putting the Tyler girl in an easy frame 
of mind. While the meal progressed, I could not help re- 
marking that her tall erect figure, her black hair and flashing 
black eyes, as well as her general air of refinement, made 
her at home among the habitues of the Ormande. An excel- 
lent “come-on” for any group of confidence men, she was; 
she had the “front.” 

’TOWARD the end of the meal I made a leading remark 
* that she was quick to sense. “I'm tired of -the track,” I 
said. “It's an uncertain game. One day you have a bank 
roll, the next you're broke, and have to start all over again 
building up. I'd like to take what money I have and invest 
it in something that will give me a steady income, possibly a 
quick turnover.” 

That was as much as telling her that I was a boob laying 
myself open to being taken. 

For a long moment she scrutinized me. She remained 
silent until a waiter had removed dessert dishes and had 
served the demi-tasse. 

And the next thing she said told me that I had succeeded 
better than I had hoped to do. 

“I know of a way right now whereby you can make a 
lot of money quickly,” she said. “That is, provided you are 
not overscrupulous as to the ethics involved in the 
transaction.” 

I felt my cold resentment melting within me, as I warmed 
to the game. She had made the approach most con-men 
use. They invariably tell their proposed victims that there 
is a way of making money that is “not quite in accordance 
with the statute books of law.” They do this to hook the 
gullibility of their suckers, to whet the greed of the victim. 


True Detective Mysteries 


47 



And they usually use a method not on the statute books for 
the reason that in case the victim raises a holler with the 
police after the game is over and the victim is fleeced, they 
then have the right to say to him : “Well, you took a chance 
on an unlawful piece of business, didn’t you? Go to the 
police if you want to. We’ll go also and tell how you broke 
the law by going in with us.” Under my breath I chuckled. 

“No,” I said to Nell Tyler, “I haven’t any scruples that 
will keep me awake nights. I’ve paid money already to find 
the winner in a race, then I’ve put a bet on the winning 
horse and trimmed bookmakers,” I went on, meaning to dis- 
arm her on the point of scruples. 

“Well,” she continued, leaning closer and moderating her 
voice so that she would not be heard at near-by tables, “you 
have heard of Flintt’s picture they call ‘The Meadows.’ ” 

“Of course. Anybody who has read the newspapers the 
past month must have heard of it. The picture was stolen 
from the National Gallery about four weeks ago. It’s an 
original ‘master’ by 
Flintt that can’t be 
duplicated. The 


that amount of money for it. If you find the buyer, you 
get the cream of the profits. There now.” 

Without doubt her knowledge of this priceless work of 
art had come from her brother. If he and possible pals had 
stolen it, then Nell Tyler was working with a mob of higher 
caliber than I gave her credit for. If her brother had not 
been the thief, then she had a good workable con approach 
anyway. 

To a man in conventional circles, her proposal had all the 
signs of a money-making scheme. There was no risk in it 
from a money standpoint. All I had to do was find a buyer 
for the painting. There was a risk of arrest as a party to 
the theft, but this I discounted. The purpose of Nell and 
her mob was to part me from my bank roll — nothing else. 

Doubt as to her identity now had vanished. Nell Tyler was 
indeed the come-on for a group of con-men. 

I gave nothing of this away, sitting there at the dinner 
table with her. I went right on playing my part. 

“Well, that sounds 


like a money-maker,” 


Gallery has offered a re- 
ward of a thousand dollars 
for information that will 
lead to its recovery. Sure 
I know about it” 

“Well, I know where it is. And 
I know who stole it. Don’t ask me 
how I know, Jim. I had no hand in stealing 
it, you may be sure.” I smiled at this. 

“Of course the men who have it, can collect the thousand 
dollars. But they took the risk, and they want to collect a 
big profit. Naturally art dealers won’t handle the painting. 
They’re afraid to touch it. Now then, if you find a buyer 
for that painting, you can make a lot of money. They’re 
asking fifty thousand dollars for it, and it seems to me that 
some rich art lover would willingly pay three or four times 


I saw enough to 
tell me that the 
painting was a 
rank forgery 


I said. “Ill look over my 
list of acquaintances, and 
see if I can find a buyer. 
If not, maybe I can dig one 
up.” 

Notice I took it for granted that she 
should know about the stolen picture. It 
was not my business to question her as to 
how she had found out about it 

The conversation went on in general channels. After the 
meal I bought two tickets for the National Theater and saw 
a good drama. Back at the Shelboume, Nell bid me good 
night, saying: “I like you much better — as you were to- 

night, Jim.” Into her eyes came again that far-away, wist- 
ful look I had seen there so many ( Continued on page 100) 



The NIGHT RIDERS 

m 

Out of the night they came — a trio on a 
the gruesome thought engrossing the 


4r T^HAT listens 
like another case 
JL for you, John," 

Arthur Latimer, 
the District Attorney, 
said thoughtfully, as he 
clicked the receiver 
back on its hook. “Young woman found dead in a road-house 
at I^amberton. That was Doctor Frisch on the wire. He 
was called in by the coroner's physician around midnight. 
First off. he thought it was suicide, but this morning, after 
making a more thorough examination, he is inclined to think 
it is murder. Have you time to run out there with me and 
look it over?" 

“Surest thing you know," I replied, at once rising from 
my chair and reaching for my overcoat and hat. Irving 
County, at that time, had no adequate detective staff of its 
own, and the D. A. had retained me on several big cases. 

Within five minutes we were bowling along over the 
rough, rutty roads toward the desolate section of Lamber- 
ton, which lies a few miles beyond Cordova. It was 
December 19th, 1921 — and cold ! Bleak stretches of frost- 
nipped land lay on all sides. Overhead, gray, stormy clouds 
scurried across the sky, forming a dense foggy screen 
through which the wintry sun filtered in a dun, ashen light. 
A raw, damp, penetrating wind whistled through the bare 
trees which, scattered here and there, writhed their gaunt, 
blackened branches, like ugly beckoning arms which were 
welcoming us to the scene of the crime. 

As we lurched over this ugly, barren landscape, the D. A. 
outlined the report he had received from Doctor Frisch. 

“Mrs. Hahn, the young woman who was found dead about 
nine o'clock last evening, seems to have been a gay sort of 
girl who* revolted against living so far out in the country,” 
he began. “According to her husband she had threatened 
several times to commit suicide unless he would move into 
the city.” 

As I listened, my eyes swept the countryside, and I could 
well imagine its influence on any high-strung temperament. 
However, I made no comment and the D. A. proceeded. 

“A friend of the Hahns telephoned to Tim Kerns, the 
village constable, telling him that Mrs. Hahn had been found 
lying dead, obviously from a bullet shot in her head. The 
Hahn farm is about a half mile from a place that is known 
as the Hottentot Road-House, which this couple also owned 
and ran. 

“Kerns notified Doctor Greene, the coroner’s physician, 
and Judge Kinsey, the justice of peace in Waverly. When 
these two arrived, Hahn claimed that his wife had shot 
herself and left a suicide note. He told them that she had 
frequently spoken of committing suicide. 

“On questioning guests who had been at a rather wild 
party the Hahns had given yesterday afternoon, the Judge 
learned from them that though Mrs. Hahn had been given 
to fits of melancholy, they had never heard her threaten to 
commit suicide. She had, incidentally, they say, been very 
gay and unusually happy at the party, and had confided to 
one of the women in the party, that the reason for her high 
spirits w*s that she was an expectant mother.” 


With a wild swerve 
which threw the car 
half-way into a ditch, 
the chauffeur turned 
into a small w’ooded 
section. When we had 
cleared this, we saw a 
small house, silhouetted against the horizon. Smoke curled 
up from one of the chimneys, but was being blown in a 
straight ribbon westward by the strong gale. 

“That the house?” I asked. 

“Yes,” the D. A. answered grimly. “Pretty lonely place 
for a young wife. I don’t wonder she got the blues there. 
But to go on with the doctor's report Hahn told Judge 
Kinsey that his wife had left a suicide note w'hich he handed 
over. Doctor Greene refused to give a verdict of suicide, 
however, without a consultation with Doctor Howard A. 
Frisch of Brocton, who is always retained by us on technical 
cases. 

“The Judge left, taking with him the revolver and the note. 
It was around midnight when Doctor Frisch arrived. He 
says that, though on the surface it looked like suicide, he was 
puzzled by several unusual things about the body. He re- 
fused to declare it a cut-and-dried suicide and called up 
Kinsey to inform him of his findings. Two State troopers 
were sent out to the farmhouse to remain on guard. 

“This morning Doctor Frisch returned and made a very 
thorough examination. Without performing an autopsy, he 
told me, he could not give an official decision, but that he had 
a very strong conviction that the woman had been murdered.” 

As the District Attorney reached this point, our car ap- 
proached the weatherbeaten, two-story, dingy old house that 
the Hahns had called home. At one side was a large chicken 
runway in which hundreds of well-cared-for fowl were 
pecking aimlessly about in the dry stubble. Grantings and 
squeal ings of many pigs were the only sounds which broke 
the deathlike stillness. 

About a hundred feet away from the house, on the other 
side, was a large, commodious barn and huge garage. In 
front of this latter were two men whom I recognized as 
Harris Tulle, the editor of a local newspaper, and his as- 
sistant, Roy Peck. 

Before the automobile was brought to a standstill, they 
were striding over toward us. 

“Hear they have a good murder here, Mr. District At- 
torney,” the editor, a tall, heavy-set, good-humored-looking 
individual, remarked. “They've kept us out in the cold for 
a couple of hours until our marrow bones are almost con- 
gealed.” 

“If they'd only let us in that barn,” Peck interrupted his 
chief to remark, “we’d have been able to warm up nicely 
on the pop-skull booze that’s stored in there. ’Nough to flood 
the entire state, we hear.” 

Peck was short and very slim, and his teeth were chatter- 
ing with cold. His thin nose was red, and his cheeks purple. 

The District Attorney greeted both newspaper men 
heartily, and when the door was opened to us by one of 
the State troopers, no one appeared to notice when they 
entered with us. 


By Detective John A. Fogarty 

Formerly of the Homicide Bureau, 
Police Headquarters, New York 


48 


from HOTTENTOT 


rollicking ride — two of them little dreaming 
third. Tqo late they realized the awful truth 



An air of deep gloom 
hung heavy in the small 
parlor toward which we 
were led. Tim Kerns, 
with whom I had worked 
on other cases, was 
standing near a chair on 
which was seated a 
huddled figure, its head 
supported wearily by 
both hands. 

“Ellen, oh Ellen, why 
did you do it? What 
will I do without you? 
Oh, Ellen, Ellen!” 

The words moaned 
through the silence in a 
wraithlike wail. Kerns 
snorted: “Gosh, he's at 

it again,” he mut- 
tered under his 
breath. Standing 


“Don't! Don't 
make me look 
at her again!’* 
Hahn, hus- 
band of the 
murdered 
woman, be- 
seeched the 
D. A. 


guard all mgnr 
over a sup- 
posed mur- 
derer isn't 
conducive to 
sympathy. The 
constable's short, * 
body fairly quivered 
with animosity, his 
usually steely, bright 
eyes were heavy from 
lack of sleep. 

“You, Hahn?” The D. A. went over and put his hand 
on the shoulder of the man in the chair. 

Hahn looked up. Bloodshot eyes blinked at the District 
Attorney. His slack lips trembled, as if he were making a 


mighty but ineffectual 
effort to overcome his 
emotion and answer. 
Finally, he merely 
nodded his head slowly, 
his breath coming in 
sobbing gulps. 

“I want you to come 
up-stairs with us while 
we look over the body. 
Come on now.” 

Hahn shrank back 
from the District At- 
torney's touch, like a 
cowed mongrel dog, 
though the words had been 
spoken gently enough. 

“Don't ! Don't make me look 
at Ellen again!” Hahn, hus- 
band of the murdered woman, 
beseeched the D. A. in a wailing 
outburst. “I can't stand it I loved 
her so much. I don't know how I 
can live without her. I want to 
remember her as she was — always beautiful, and 

so neat and clean. Oh, Ellen ” 

Hahn looked the picture of stark despair, and 
was wiping his face with the sleeve of his rumpled coat. 
Suddenly Kerns lurched forward, took hold of the mourner's 
wrist and jerked him to his feet. “Get on, wtd you!” he 
ordered. “Do what the District Attorney tells you to do and 
for heaven's sake quit yer bawling! Oh, excuse me, sir.” 
He turned towards the D. A. and a look of mortification 

flushed his tired face. “I wasn't thinking ” 

In spite of the grim atmosphere of the room, I saw a faint 


49 




True Detective Mysteries 


smile glimmer in the District Attorney’s eyes for a second 
as he accepted the impetuous constable’s apology. 

Hahn hesitated a moment, teetered backwards and for- 
wards as if he were about to fall. He looked around the 
room as if seeking 
for sympathy. 

Meeting only blank 
stares, he turned, 
left the room and 
slowly mounted the 
narrow steps of the 
stairs which led to 
the death chamber. 

“What do you 
think of it, 

Kerns ?*’ I had re- 
mained behind to 
question the con- 
stable, whom I 
knew to be a 
mighty shrewd 
man, with occa- 
sional bright 
flashes of intuition. 

“Say, I dunno 
what to think," he 
answered slowly, 
as he scratched his 
head, ruffling still 
more his touseled, 
sandy crop of hair. 

“If the man had 
acted natural, I 
wouldn’t be sus- 
picious, but he 
cries too darned 
much. He over- 
does it! He ain’t 
dazed with grief. 

He’s just turned 
on the waterworks 
and left ’em on all 
night. He’s been 
wailing for ‘Ellen’ 
all night long." 

While the con- 
stable was talking, 

I was taking note 
of the room in 
which we were 
standing. Though 
four men — the two 
State troopers, the 
widower and the 
constable — had re- 
mained there all 
night, the furniture 
had been left in 
exactly the same 
position as it was 
at the time the 
death had been 
discovered. This 
was in accordance 
with the rules of the police department. 

Evidently the dead girl had been an admirable house- 
keeper and had made a desperate effort to overcome the ugli- 
ness of the little house. The living-room, we had been told, 
had been the scene of quite a lively party the afternoon 
before. However, no soiled glasses or dishes littered the 
tables. Every piece of furniture was in place with the ex- 
ception of a small table and chair which were overturned 
near the door. 


Nondescript furniture it was, such as is usually found in 
old farmhouses, but gay chintz covered the sagging seat of 
a dilapidated Morris chair, and the same material had been 
used in cushions which brightened up a shabby, horsehair 

sofa. A bright rag rug car- 
peted the floor. On this, 
near the overturned table, 
lay several 
scattered en- 
velopes, a sen- 
timental novel 
with a page 
turned in. evi- 
dently mark- 
ing the place 
where the 
reader had left 
off, and a bit 
of crochet- 
work into 
which the 
knitting -needle 
had been stuck 
with a small 
cork protect- 
ing the tip. 
That overturned 
table was mute evi- 
dence that someone, 
in rushing madly 
from the room, had 
collided with it, and 
knocked it over. 
This had to me 
great significance. 
The dead woman’s 
personality was 
eloquently expressed 
in that stuffy little 
parlor; she had very 
evidently been a 
person of orderly 
habits, so far 
as her house- 
wifely duties 
were con* 
cerned. No 
matter how 
disturbed she 
might have 
been, it would 
have been sec- 
ond nature for 
her to pick up that table and 
replace the objects on it, un- 
less she had been the one 
escaping from some danger 
which threatened her. There 
was a possibility, of course, 
that some stranger had entered 
the house. The idea I stored 
away, as only a remote theory. 
As an argument against suicide, however, was the number 
of religious pictures which practically covered the walls. 
These were to me of tremendous significance. I examined 
them closely, as I did, also, the miscellaneous collection of 
books stacked on four short shelves which hung between 
two chintz-draped windows. With the exception of a few 
ancient yellow -leafed novels by Sir Walter Scott and 
Dickens, it was made up of religious volumes of various 
kinds. 

By the time Kerns rejoined me and told me that the 
District Attorney wanted me to go up to the death chamber, 




True D elective Mysteries S) 


I had a very good mental portrait of the slain woman. 

“I’m goin’ over to get two men that Hahn says was with 
him when his wife committed suicide/’ he explained, as he 
buttoned up his heavy overcoat. “His story is straight 
enough, but gosh, there’s something funny about it, if you 
get what I mean.” 

As I mounted the stairs to the second and top story of 
the house, I heard the constable slam the front door. 

The D. A. met me as I reached the top step. 

“The man tells a straight enough story,” he said. “I’ve 
questioned and cross-questioned him and he sticks to the 
one he told the Coroner. We can’t find any motive he might 
have had for killing his wife. I don’t want to put the 
county to the expense of an autopsy unless we have much 
more evidence pointing towards murder than we have now.” 

“It’s murder all right,” I told him. “I would bet anything 
on that!” 

'"THE District Attorney looked at me in amazement. “But 
* you haven’t questioned the man,” he objected. “Did you 
find any clues down there in the parlor that point toward 
murder ?” 

“No, I didn’t,” I admitted, “but I have gained a very good 
estimate of the dead woman and she isn’t the type to commit 
suicide. Before I get to work on Hahn, I would like to 


Hahn left the impression of her personality — her portrait 
parlant as the French call it — the man’s individuality may 
show itself in his workshop.” 

I was very anxious to clear up the case that night in 
order to keep my engagement the following morning. At 
the same time, District Attorney Latimer had thrown many 
things my way, and this case would have to take precedence. 

M UCH, I knew, could be learned by questioning the many 
friends of the Hahns, but there was a shorter cut which 
I intended to try out first. This might bring me up against 
a “detour,” but I had a hunch that when Hahn and I came 
to grips* I would find I had taken the right track. 

The early afternoon was bitterly cold, and the wind, 
swooping down in great gusts, burst into the house with the 
force of some ferocious invading animal as soon as I opened 
the door. 

For a moment, the blast stunned me. While I was re- 
covering, my eye fell upon a piece of flimsy, white material 
which the wind had caught and whirled up from some ob- 
scure hiding-place in the hall. On examining it, I discovered 
that it was a piece which had been torn from an article of 
women’s underwear. 

I put it in my pocket, closed .the door and made my way 
to the barn. 


and hands it over to me. *Read that, 
read it’ Well, 1 reads it: 1 end my life 


“^EORGE picks up the note 
^ Tom/ says he; *1 can’t re< 
for you, Ellen,’ it says.” 

' “What did you do with the note?” I asked. 

“I lays it back on the bed somewheres, and then 


have a look at the barn. It won’t do any harm to let him 
sit around awhile longer in the company of the troopers.” 
Tulley joined us. His usually ruddy face was pale and 
there was a sick look in his eyes. 

“Good lord !” he muttered. “I never saw such a gruesome 
sight in my life. Where are you going, John? Aren’t you 
going to question Hahn? I don’t believe he had anything 
to do with it. They were mighty good pals — gay and sport- 
ing a bit — but everybody knew that George was crazy about 
his pretty wife. I want to run off this story to-night and 
eleven o’clock is our dead line.” 

“Well, Jim, I hope it’ll be all cleared up by then, but 
I can’t tell you anything just now. Who has the key to the 
barn?” 

“One of the troopers has it,” he answered. “Hold on a 
second and I’ll get it for you.” 

Tulley was a rattling good fellow. He never insisted on 
trying to rush matters. We had met on several other cases 
and he knew that I would give him a good break on any- 
thing I handled. 

So, in this instance, he took the hint. When he brought 
the key, he handed it over and remained up-stairs while the 
District Attorney followed me back into the parlor. 

“IT’S like this, Mr. Latimer,” I explained as soon as we 
* had regained the living-room. “That fellow, Hahn, has 
repeated his story so often that he has it pat. Before I 
take him in hand, I want to have a few unexpected questions 
to fire at him. If he has been running a still in the barn, 
I expect to learn something about him there. Just as Mrs. 


This was an old rusty-red building. On entering, I found 
nothing of interest in the place. However, above the 
peculiar, musty odor which always permeates these grain and 
cattle feed storehouses, I detected a smell of alcohol. Liter- 
ally following my nose, I noticed that this came through the 
crevices of a door which had been cut in the wall, and led 
to the large garage that had been built obviously at some 
recent date. 

A FTER trying three keys, I succeeded in opening this 
** door. At a glance I saw that the “garage” was a 
camouflage for one of the most complete “still” houses I 
have ever come across. Metal -lined, to prevent fire, smoke 
had been eliminated by the use of gas for heating purposes. 
Forty barrels of “mash” stood on the floor. Graduated 
glasses stood in racks along the wall, and, in rather confused 
disorder, were littered test tubes, retorts and all the other 
paraphernalia for the making of moonshine, or pop-skull 
as the villagers called it. 

Opening off this was a small room where I found three 
bags of sugar and four tins of pure alcohol standing on the 
floor ready to be used. Either the fittings of this illicit 
distillery had been bought second-hand or had seen very hard 
usage under its present owner, for there were many evidences 
of patching and make-shift substitutes for various pieces of 
equipment. 

From that first tour of inspection I learned nothing more 
than that Hahn was a frugal soul, and in spite of the large 
sums which he must have received from his contraband, he 
wasn’t the kind of a man to spend ( Continued on page 64) 


The MAN with 

Wealthy patrons of New York's night clubs little 
coins into a beggar's tin cup, they laid 

By Stephen Martin, Detective Sergeant 

as told to Allan Van Hoesen 


“T T I, fellers, look who’s here?” “My w*ord, what a 
I" 1 I lovely sunburn he got in Florida!” “Some drag, 
X X I’ll say, to get a month’s vacation at Miami.” 

These and other cries of a similiar nature 
greeted me as I entered the Detective Bureau at Police 
Headquarters, where a dozen men of the all-night squad 
were lounging about or making out reports. 

“Greetings, boys! And have it your own way. But I 
got my man, didn’t I ? And it wasn’t all fishing and swim- 
ming, I'll tell the world. I had a hard battle to persuade 
that Florida bunch to honor an extradition. But Yeager’s 
here, locked up down-stairs, and that’s that. Now. as its 

nearly two bells, I’m off for home and bed. By-by ” 

“Hello, Martin! When did you get in?” I swung to find 
Inspector Brady, his brow corrugated with wrinkles, block- 
ing the doorway. 

“Hello, Inspector ! Just back.” 

“Well, you’ve hit the town at the right time. I’ve got a 
big job for you. Come to my office.” 

As I followed Brady, I caught a chorus of, “Pleasant 
dreams, Steve,” “Vacation’s over, old top,” and the like. 

“Been reading the New York papers in Florida?” snapped 
the Inspector. He pushed a dead cigar beneath his grizzled 
mustache and nodded for me to take a chair. 

“Yes. Every day.” 

“Then you saw the stories about the hold-ups of the 
society women and their escorts in the vestibules of their 
homes — after a fling at the swell cabarets in each case.” 
“Yes. Do you think anvone from the cabarets followed 
them?” 

“IT'S possible, but unlikely. Maybe you didn’t stop to 
* think that the cabarets in question are the kind that 
won’t permit the regular night crowd to get even its nose 
inside. Exclusive is the word; exclusive for those with 
real money and a blue-book rating. 

“That’s a fact. But from what I gathered from the 

newspapers, it appeared like the work of one gang ” 

“Umph ! Well that’s what it’s going to be your job to 
find out I’ve had fifty men on the case since the first hold- 
up. They haven’t turned up a damned thing, and 

to-night ” 

“Another one, eh?” 

“Yes. I<ess than an hour ago. I wish you’d been here at 
the start. This kind of stuff is your specialty. No working 
with stools is going to do the trick. I’m convinced these 
crooks are experienced performers who have been laying 
low or out of town for a long time. That’s where your 
memory for faces will come in handy. Even the rookies 
are on to the hundred or so who have been dragged in here 
without a thing on ’em. These crooks are not dodos, who 
go around with a jimmy in one hand and a black-jack in 
the other. They’ve got brains. And it’ll take brains to 
land ’em.” 


“Tell me the facts, Inspector — I’m a bit hazy on what I 
read — and I’ll do my best” 

“Okey. If you're tired, you’ll have to forget it and get 
busy at once. To-night’s job has got me dead sore. The 
Commissioner’s mad as hell already and by to-morrow hell 
be fit to be tied. I’m talking a lot because I want you to 
realize there’s got to be action. Now listen carefully. To- 
night’s hold-up is the third of a series, each a week apart, 
all on Saturday nights and so similiar in method as to in- 
dicate one band of crooks or a single crook pulled all the jobs. 

“On the night of the fifteenth, Oscar Grayson — you know, 
the big oil man and race-horse owner — and his wife went to 
the Little Cottage in Fifty-first after the theater. Mrs. 
Grayson, as usual, was plastered with diamonds. Their 
limousine called for them and drove them straight home to 
their place on Riverside Drive. 

+ 

“AS the machine shot away for the garage, the million- 
** aire and his wife entered the vestibule. A man 
promptly pushed a gun into Grayson's ribs, ordered hands 
up, then cleaned them out. They made no resistance. Mr. 
Crook got away with about $100,000 in diamond jewelry, 
Grayson’s watch, a split-second, made-to-order affair from 
Paris, and his bank-roll. As soon as the burglar had the 
stuff he forced Grayson to unlock the front door, pushed 
the couple inside and slammed it. By the time a holler had 
been raised which brought the servants and they went out- 
side, the crook had vanished. Probably he had a getaway 
car parked in the shadows along the Drive.” 

“WTiat description did they give of the man?” 

“Below average height, say about five feet four, slim 
build, but with good shoulders and lightning quick in move- 
ment. A cap pulled low and a handkerchief tied across his 
nose hid everything but his eyes, which were dark and 
piercing. He talked only in a hoarse whisper, which dis- 
guised his voice. But his talk was ugly, he cursed a lot 
and he threatened to kill ’em both if they made a move or a 
sound.” 

“The second stick-up was of the Bames-Morrisons, 
wasn't it?” 


“V^ES. That was on the twenty-second. She’s another 
* diamond-toting baby. You know where they live — 


upper Park Avenue, in one of the few old brownstone 
mansions that haven’t been squeezed out by the apartment 
hotels. Their case is like the other. Went to the Fireside 
from the opera, left there after one, drove home and dis- 
missed the chauffeur. At the top of the stoop they faced the 
gun of a stick-up man. The woman screamed. The next 
second the burglar drove her against the wall with a blow to 
the jaw. He fairly raved, cursing and threatening, but 
always in a hoarse whisper. Barnes- Morrison started to 
help his wife, but the crook’s gun in his stomach brought 
him up short. The man only got part of their stuff, about 


52 


Four LEGS 

suspected that when they kind-heartedly dropped 
themselves open to robbery — and worse 



?50,000 worth in diamonds and coin; then beat it, as the 
woman’s cries had brought many persons to their windows. 


for him around here. Then he’ll skip and sell it elsewhere.” 
“And to-night?” I asked. 

the Inspector’s gray pompadour fairly 
bristled, and he jerked the 
stub of cigar from his 
mouth and hurled it vi- 
ciously to the 
floor. “To- 
night’s job 
was the worst 


seemed 


“The Barnes- 
Momsons were 

too excited to recall much about their 
assailant, except that he was not tall 
and wore a cap and handkerchief. 

But they saw him dart to the corner, 
where he jumped into a taxicab and 
got away clean.” 

“This boy sure is a bad baby. Mighty few of 
them are brutal to women. Of course none of 
the stolen stuff has reached the pawn-shops?” 

“No. And we’ve put several of the diamond fences 
on the grill with no result I tell you, this crook 
is slick. He’s caching the stuff 'til things get too hot 


“That girl is 
game. She 
let out a yell 
and reached 
for the gun” 


of all. And don’t forget it’s Saturday, 
just a week from the last stick-up. As 
for brutality, if it was the same yegg, he 
surely went the limit Of course you know of 
young Chester Brewster. He’s had more news- 
paper notoriety' than any gilt-edged youth in ” 

“Know of him? I know him. Was he held up?” 

“He and the young woman with him.” 

“That gives me a laugh instead of tears. Old Jasper 


53 



54 


True Detective Mysteries 



Brewster’s bad boy held up — and old Jasp the head of the 
bonding company that has put up bail for more crooks 
charged with serious offenses than all the others combined. 
It's rich. Wonder how he’ll like having one of his clients 
pluck ” 

“Forget that line. I’ve no more use for his line than you 
have, but the law makes us look after even his kind. Here’s 
what I know; reported by Sweeney, the man on post. You 
can get more details. Young Brewster and Miss Norma 
Howland, that swell-looking young daughter of Aaron 
Howland, who’s picture is always in the papers, were at the 
Black Pigeon after seeing a show. About one 
o’clock, in her car and driven by the family 
chauffeur, they went to the Howland place in 
Washington Square. When the machine had gone, 
they mounted the stoop. In the 
vestibule a stick-up man jammed 
a revolver against Brewster and 
ordered hands up and no noise. 

“But that girl is game. She 
let out a yell and 
reached for the 
gun. The crook 
turned on her, 
cursing, and sent 


from the servants, who were unfastening the door, and cried 
out again. The yegg deliberately kicked her, then snatched 
a diamond necklace and beat it. Nobody saw where he 
went. Probably across the park and through some Green- 
wich Village alley. The necklace was valuable and be- 
longed to the girl’s dead mother.” 

“Did the crook’s description tally with the one on the 
other jobs?” 

“Pretty much. Except that he wore a cap and a handker- 
chief. They couldn’t remember 
the color of his hair, his clothing 


The two ex- 
changed a 
few hurried 
words 


her flat with a blow which 
drew blood. Brewster leaped 
him, but wasn’t the other’s 

match. As they struggled the burglar hit him with the butt 
of his weapon, knocking him cold. The girl heard shouts 


or whether he 
whispered or 
talked out. But 
he left one mark, 
a red bruise on Miss Howland’s 
cheek, where a ring landed.” 

“I can guess what the Com- 
missioner and the newspapers are going to 
say.” 

“That's the reason I’ve taken time to put you fully wise. 
We haven’t wasted any time at that. You can get to the 


55 


True Detective Mysteries 


house in ten minutes in one of the department cars outside. 
Besides, when you arrive, the station-house detectives and 
cops will have finished asking questions, things will have 
quieted down a bit and you'll be able to get a clearer story. 
I ordered Sweeney to keep Brewster at the house until 
someone from Headquarters arrived. Also, to keep the 
reporters out and send ’em to me. There’s some down-stairs 
now." 

"I'm off. I'll keep you 
posted." 

"One thing more, Martin. 

I'm counting on you — to 


belt. The Schoelkopf, Louise Lawson and Dot King cases 
came pretty close together. I had a hand in rounding up 
the bunch that robbed Mrs. Schoelkopf and sending them 
over. I was not on the other cases. The boys had failed to 
run down the killers of the Lawson and King women. 
Maybe, in the latter case, some of the big money daddies 
who were mixed up with Dot, in an effort to get their 
names out of the newspapers as quickly as possible, didn’t 
tell all they could. I always had 
regretted 1 hadn’t had a chance at 



stumbled upon some- 
thing significant 


put this bureau square with the Commissioner. You simply 
must make good. Dammit, 111 do something worth while 
for you if you nail this yegg and get such a case on him 
that even the crook lawyers can’t keep him from getting a 
good stretch. This beating up of Miss Howland ought to 
jolt even an ‘easy' judge." 

"I’ll go beyond the limit, Inspector. But I've just thought 
of something. Don't let the newspapers know the girl was 
beaten up. Keep mum on that and particularly that Miss 
Howland's cheek shows a ring mark." 

The ride to Washington Square w r as brief, but I got in a 
bit of thinking concerning the robberies in recent years of 
women who made a display of their diamonds in the cabaret 


those fellows, one million- 
aire in particular. 

Anyway, those cases 
had raised such a holler 
and caused so much police activity that the cabaret 
crooks took to cover. Only at infrequent intervals in the 
more recent years had the "diamond babies’’ been followed 
home and robbed — either gold diggers or women w r hose 
names were in the Social Register. The new outbreak, three 
in a row, indicated either that one or more of the cabaret 
sneaks had resumed operations or that some other daring 
operator had decided the time was ripe for another clean-up. 
His choice of victims suggested he was after big game only. 
But that he had spotted the women from inside the ultra- 
exclusive night clubs in question I couldn’t believe. Any 
man who could show the front and qualifications to get into 
these places wouldn't be the kind who would beat up two 


56 


True Detective Mysteries 


women. My guess was that when I landed my bird I'd find a 
hardened crook of the yegg type, possibly a cokie. And a man 
who would assault women wouldn't be likely to show mercy 
to a detective if he got the drop on him. Thereafter my 
automatic was to be kept where I could reach it in a flash. 

O WEENEY admitted me to the Howland house, a magnifi- 
^ cent house of the Colonial type facing Washington Arch, 
and conducted me to the library. There were four persons 
there: Miss Howland, who was holding a handkerchief to 

her bruised face and over whom a physician was leaning; 
Aaron Howland and young Brewster, a bandage about his 
head, his face pasty white. He nodded, arose unsteadily and 
shook hands. The girl smiled. She was the coolest of 
them all. Howland, his heavy mouth set in a hard line, his 
shaggy brows frowning so they all but hid his eyes, burning 
with poorly suppressed anger, 
also came forward and took 
my hand. 

“ Inspector Brady tele- 
phoned you were coming. He 
says you're his best man for 
this kind of a job. Ask any 
questions. They'll be 
answered. By all of us,” he 
added significantly. 

The doctor left the room 
and I began to question 
Brewster. He was frank — 
frank with the contriteness 
of a spoiled youth with a bad 
record who had been brought 
up with a sharp turn. He 
realized he had been the 
cause of a near tragedy to a 
girl of whom he was very 
fond; maybe she was fond of 
him. She showed the great- 
est interest, now and then 
volunteering information. 

Howland remained silent. 

The story I gleaned was 
this: Brewster, whose father 
had insisted that he get away 
from Broadway’s night life, 
had been taking a course in 
civil engineering at one of 
the well-known New Eng- 
land colleges. Only a com- 
paratively meager allowance 
was sent him. However, 
about a month back, he had 
received a tip from a sym- 
pathetic broker intimate in 
New York, had played it, 

pyramided his profits, and 

had cashed in on a consider- 
able sum within a few days. 

Each week-end for the three last weeks he had come to New 
York to see some night life. The two previous Saturday 
nights he had visited only the noisiest and most garish of 
the cabarets and night clubs, feeling certain he would meet 
no one there who would inform his family. 

However, he tired of his self-imposed ostracism, and early 
in the week wrote to Miss Howland — with whom he had 
been on most friendly terms until her father had denied him 
the house — daring her to accompany him for three evenings, 
beginning Thursday, “for a big time.” The program he 
suggested was that they go to a different theater each night, 
then to the Black Pigeon, one of the city’s two most exclu- 
sive and expensive night clubs. Her father being absent 
from the city and not expected back until Sunday, she wired 
Chester that information and her acceptance. She was a 


rather independent, high-spirited miss, believed Brewster 
was being dealt with too severely, and looked forward to a 
few evenings with a forbidden escort as a real lark. 

Receiving her affirmative answer, the youth lost his head. 
He determined to show those who formerly had welcomed 
him socially that not only did he possess abundant funds of 
his own to spend, but that the wealthy Miss Howland would 
go the limit to appear at her best when in his company. 
Communicating with her by long-distance telephone, he 
urged her to wear her most fashionable gowns and the 
most showy of her jewels. She promised, and stated that 
one of the family cars would be at their disposal each night. 

Then she did a most foolish thing. In addition to putting 
on the best of the gems she was accustomed to wear, she 
added a magnificent necklace of diamonds, willed her by her 
mother, which was kept in a big safe her banker father had 

installed in the house. She 
and he also knew the com- 
bination. She had been for- 
bidden to wear it outside her 
home, but it had graced her 
throat each evening she ac- 
companied Brewster. It was 
valued at $50,000 and was 
the only article the thief had 
had time to snatch from her 
before he raced away, fol- 
lowing her alarm. That was 
about all, except that neither 
the girl nor her companion 
had noted anyone watching 
them in the Black Pigeon, 
and did not know if they 
were followed. 

Next I examined most 
carefully the bruise on Miss 
Howland's cheek. Contrary 
to what I had expected, the 
skin had not been cut, as it 
would have been if made 
with a diamond ring. The 
shape of the red welt was 
oblong. The thief had worn 
a seal ring upon the hand 
which struck her. Pledging 
all of them to secrecy con- 
cerning the assault upon her, 
advising that none but Mr. 
Howland talk to the news- 
papers, I directed Brewster 
to go home and remain there, 
that I might be able to reach 
and question him at any time. 

“That's all, Chester, you 
may go.” Howland's tone 
was like chilled steel as he 
spoke. 

For an instant the youth 
hesitated and the girl half arose. But both thought better 
of their first impulse. Brewster bowed, left the room, and 
soon after I heard the clang of the front door behind him. 
The girl then said good night, kissed her father, stating 
she would see the doctor again and retire. 

IMMEDIATELY Howland closed the door and came near, 
* speaking in a hoarse whisper, though fairly quivering 
with rage. “Listen, Martin, 111 do as you request about 
talking. But in the pioming, through my attorney, I shall 
offer a reward of $5,000 for the arrest of the thief, and 
$5,000 additional if the necklace is recovered. I'm giving 
you the first tip. I think you can earn the money — if you 
dare to.” 

“If I — dare ? What do you mean ?” ( Continued on page 76) 


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( Continued from page 14) 


then again, he mightn’t have. You just 
see if he’s there, Doc, and keep your eyes 
open. I’ll see him later.” 

It happened that I had some wash to take 
in. Sam Wong seemed natural and quite 
himself, but it is hard to tell what is in 
a Chinaman’s face. He was friendly, as 
usual, and said, “ To, Doc,” as always. 

I was in no hurry. I took my time about 
lighting a cigaret as I watched Sam Wong. 
And then I told him that Sing Ling was in 
some trouble. He shrugged his shoulders. 
I asked him if he had seen Sing Ling that 
evening. He said no. I told him that 
Charley See had said that he did. 

“Cholly See clazy,” he muttered. 

When I asked him if he hadn’t taken 
some laundry to Sing Ling’s place, he re- 
plied with an accompanying gesture that 
he had given it to Charley See. And at 
that I noticed a sore on his hand. It cer- 
tainly did not look like a fresh cut, as from 
thrusting a hand through a broken window. 
I looked at it more closely and asked him 
what it was. He said it was a burn, with- 
drawing the hand a little and looking to- 
ward the flat-iron on the board in front of 
him. It did look like a burn, but I wanted 
to examine it closely. I wanted to hold his 
hand and wrist with both my hands, and 
get my fingers on his pulse to see if he 
were excited underneath this outward calm. 

Sam Wong shrugged his shoulders again 
and turned back to his work — and I left 
him. 

W HEN I got back to the jail Doctor 
Beecher had gone, giving Frisco Irish 
up as a bad job and saying that the fellow 
would have to just sleep it off. I reported 
the Sam Wong interview to the Sheriff, 
who said that he would see the laundryman 
himself, shortly. 

But when the Arm of the Law called 
with me to see Sam Wong, the laundry- 
man was not there. A small light was 
still burning, but the door was locked. Sam 
was industrious and obliging, and often 
he called for and delivered laundry. He 
might be around town, on some such er- 
rand. But the Sheriff promptly prepared 
for pursuit. I reminded him that Sam 
Wong might be on the way to his sick 
brother, but that possibility did not interest 
him. At that time there was no railroad 
to Stony Creek, and the only regular trans- 
portation was by stage-coach, three times 
a week. The stage had left that noon. 
Obviously, Sam Wong had hit the trail. 
The Sheriff figured that the laundryman 
had probably headed into the mountains, 
and therefore himself started in that di- 
rection with two deputies, after having sent 
volunteers off on the search in other direc- 
tions. We learned later that Sam Wong 
had borrowed Sing Ling’s horse, from the 
chop-suey man’s little stable back of the 
restaurant — not a race-horse, by any 
means, but a good, capable broncho. 

When I returned to my own quarters, 
which I shared with Doctor Beecher, I 
found that he was out. Of late he had 
gone out a lot without leaving word as to 
where he might be found, but I was get- 
ting used to his growing eccentricities. We 
occupied a joint office in the administration 
building of the mining corporation, and 


were located on the second floor, overlook- 
ing the street. It is a good plan for a 
practicing physician to have his office and 
living-rooms — or room — in the same place 
and so Beecher and I each had a small 
sleeping- and living-room adjoining the 
large office room which we shared in 
common. 

That night I read a few pages in a new 
book on surgery, looked over the two 
papers the stage had brought that day, had 
a smoke and went to bed — at perhaps ten- 
thirty. 

1 WAS awakened at about half past 
twelve by the repeated ringing of my 
night-bell, for which I had a special button 
down below at the door. It was Frank 
Green, one of the deputy sheriffs. 

“Sorry to rout you out like this, Doc, 
but Sam Wong’s been shot. Bleeding 
badly — you’ll want to hurry.” 

“Sam Wong?” I exclaimed, though I 
was already hurrying. “I thought he had 
gone away.” 

“He had. We picked him up— in fact, 
we heard the shooting — out near Dave Hen- 
derson’s cabin.” 

“Good Lord — way out there? Who did 
it?” 

“Don’t know — we scared him off. He 
vamoosed. The Sheriff’s looking for him 
now. We took the Chink to Dave’s cabin — 
Sleepy George’s there with him, and I’ve 
been riding like the devil to get you.” 
Well, the prospect was no fun, wak- 
ing up for a ride like that. I knew the 
trip up into the hills because I had recently 
gone out there, in the daytime, to see Dave 
Henderson, prospector, who had been bitten 
by a rattler. I had later had him brought 
to town for careful nursing. He was re- 
covering, for -he had not gotten the full 
dose of the poisonous fangs, since the rat- 
tler had first bitten his dog and thus largely 
exhausted his venom. It was this sacrifice 
of the dog that saved the prospector. In 
the meantime, it seemed, Dave’s cabin was 
occupied by Sleepy George Jackson, a col- 
ored cook and handy man. 

Frank Green led the way and we made 
the best time we could, uphill and under 
the conditions. It started to rain and we 
used our ponchos ; it was an unpleasant 
business. Fortunately, I had something to 
occupy my mind. Why was Sam Wong 
running away like that? He had avoided 
even an interview with the Sheriff. And 
then, why had he been shot ? Had he 
really been the culprit who cut Sing Ling’s 
wire and seized the pearls — if any outside 
party had done it? Had he taken them 
with him on this insane ride up into the 
mountains? Might he not have secreted 
them? Or might Sing Ling himself have 
had a secret hiding-place, secure against 
search, and reached in those moments of 
darkness? Or, if Sam Wong had the 
jewels, who would have known it, so as 
to follow him up and shoot him down — 
so soon? 

Frank Green, the deputy, did not go 
inside with me when he reached the Hen- 
derson place, but said he would put my 
horse in the little stable just below the 
shack and then strike out to see what, or 
whom, he could find, with any possible 


True Detective Mysteries 


59 


bearing upon the shooting of Sam Wong, 
or perhaps to join the Sheriff in the search. 

I told him to use my horse and rest his 
own. 

So I found only the two in the lonely 
little cabin — the Chinaman almost dead 
from his wound, and Sleepy George Jack- 
son almost dead from fright, as well as 
belying his nickname. The shooting had 
occurred perhaps a stone’s throw from the 
cabin, waking up the sleepy one, and he 
had not yet recovered from that first shock. 
And then being left in charge of a bleeding 
and dying man. and not knowing what to 
do for him, had not helped his nerves any. 

For in truth, the prognosis was grave. 
Indeed, it was more than that. Sam Wong 
was dying. I could see that when my eyes 
first reached him, there on Henderson’s 
bunk. He opened his eyes, feebly, but said 
nothing. It vas pure weakness, from loss 
of blood. He had only been hit in the 
shoulder, but the bullet had grazed the 
artery supplying the arm. Prompt first aid 
of the right kind, that is, even tight pres- 
sure of a thumb upon the artery above the 
wound, to stop it, might have saved him. 

If only I could have reached him sooner! 
But as it was, the hemorrhage had about 
drained aw r ay his life. 

1 OPERATED at once, for it w ? as neces- 
sary to reach and tie the artery. To do 
that, I had to have George’s help, such as it 
was, mostly holding the kerosene lamp for 
me. I gave Sam Wong a few light whiffs 
of chloroform to keep him quiet, but not 
enough to render him unconscious. I 
wouldn’t have dared give him much, with 
his exhaustion of blood. 

Having made him as comfortable as I 
could, I tried to ask Sam Wong some ques- 
tions. Who had shot him? Did he 
know? Did they get the pearls from him? 
Did he know anything about the pearls? To 
all of which the man gave absolutely no 
response whatever, whether from weak- 
ness, stubbornness or whatsoever motive, 
until George volunteered the information 
that the Sheriff had asked him all that 
stuff when first bringing him in. Clapping 
my hands to arouse him, I told Sam Wong 
that he might be dead in an hour, and 
begged him for that reason to tell me 
what he could. He only opened and closed 
his eyes, as one w’ould nod his head, to 
show that he knew he was going — and that 
it made no difference. 

I gave Sam Wong a stimulant, but since 
there w r as nothing more I could do now, 

I turned my attention to the colored boy, 
to find what he had learned from the 
Sheriff when the wounded Chinaman w'as 
brought in. Apparently George had 
learned little or nothing, but as I questioned 
him, Sam Wong went to sleep — a sleep 
from which he never w’oke up. A few 
minutes later his breathing stopped en- 
tirely, as I watched. And it w*as an awe- 
stricken colored boy who received the news 
that his guest had “gone West.” 

I cleaned up. I washed and sterilized 
my instruments and put them back in their 
places in my case. It was still raining— 
harder than ever — and I was in no hurry to 
start on the return journey through the 
downpour. George build a good fire in the 
stove and spread out my poncho to dry. I 
took off my wet shoes, placed them near 
the stove, and sat down near by, to warm I 
my feet. Wide-eyed Sleepy George made I 



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me some coffee, opened a can of beans, 
soft-boiled me a couple of eggs and toasted 
me some cheese, which he served with a 
handful of crackers. It all surely did 
taste good, after my trip through the pour- 
ing rain. George himself didn’t eat — 
couldn’t. And now the cabin was warm 
and very comfortable, and I felt still less 
like trekking back to town through the 
storm. It was getting to be a very wild 
night outside, much worse than when I 
had come out. 

It was somewhat after three o’clock when 
the Sheriff with one deputy came in, wet, 
tired, and clearly not unwilling to do a lit- 
tle heavy cussing when he found that my 
patient had passed on. I told him the de- 
tails of the case, including the fact that 
Sam Wong had not disclosed a thing ; his 
face, and presumably his mind, had been 
a blank. The Sheriff avowed that it sure 
did beat a certain very hot word of four 
short letters. For — where were the pearls? 
Had the Chink had them? The Sheriff 
had come up so quick, at the shooting, that 
the assailant had taken precipitous flight. 
He might have got the necklace — yet that 
was doubtful. The Sheriff himself had 
searched Sam Wong. Again — there was 
Sing Ling 

W HILE we were talking, Frank 
Green came in, dripping water like a 
garden sprinkler. 

“What luck?” asked the Sheriff. 
“Nothing. Except that I picked up Doc 
Beecher and Shifty Joe up the way — just 
ran into them.” 

“What the devil they doing way out 
here?” asked the Sheriff, and turned to 
me. 

“First I knew of his coming out this 
way,” I said. “I didn't see him after I 
left you to go and see Sam Wong.” 

“Oh, Doc’s all right, hut I don’t like the 
looks of Joe Gates around up here,” said 
the Sheriff. 

“They told me,” said Frank, “that Gates 
had brought Doc Beecher out to see Pete 
Galveston.” 

“What’s the matter with Peter?” 

“He’s got a sore hand.” 

“Hell! What’s this?” And the Sheriff 
came right up on his feet. "Where’d he 
git the sore hand?” 

Thoughts of a jagged window frame 
also flashed into my mind. But Frank 
added, “The Doc said something about 
blood poison.” 

“Oh no,” George, the colored boy spoke 
up, “he cut his hand with his big jack- 
knife — caught his fingers when he shut it 
— two or three days ago.” 

“You’re sure about that?” 

“Oh — yer, I seen him yesteddy. He put 
mud on it — nature cure.” 

“No wonder it’s infected,” I ventured. 
“That would very likely give him blood 
poison.” 

“Just the same,” said the Sheriff, “he 
might a cut it again to-night. Nothing 
to that jack-knife stuff. I’ve done that 
myself. I wish you would go and see 
him, Doc, and take a look at that hand.” 

“I think I’ll stay out here to-night,” I 
said, “and I’ll see him in the morning.” 
“Oh, never mind, I’ll talk to Beecher 
about it,” said the Sheriff. Then he 
added, “But it’s funny — Beecher and Gates 
the only two people out this way to-night. 
You didn’t search them, did you, Frank?” 


“Well, yes, I did. Taking no chances 
of a callin’ down from you. Doc was sore, 
but I went over them both.” 

“And nothing doing, eh?” 

“Nothing like a string of beads on 
either.” 

“Mention the shootin’? Tell them why?” 
“No, I didn’t.” 

“They mention it? Say anything sus- 
picious ?” 

“Nope.” And that was all there was to 
that. 

T HE Sheriff prepared to depart. I asked 
about the weather. Worse than ever, ac- 
cording to Frank. The Sheriff had no 
heart for further pursuit that night ; he 
wanted to get back to Stony Creek and get 
some sleep. I told him that I wanted the 
sleep, but not the getting back to Stony 
Creek in the storm. I would rather wait 
until morning, if I could find a place to 
stretch myself right there in the cabin. It 
appeared, however, that the shack would 
only accommodate three sleepers, at the 
most. The bunk, on which the dead Sam 
Wong now reposed, would hold two, with 
a bit of crowding. And then there was 
the couch upon which Sleepy George 
usually justified his nickname. 

“Hey, you George,” called the Sheriff — 
“you bunk in there with Sam Wong and 
iet Doc Bailey have your couch.” 

The whites of George’s eyes showed 
round as saucers as he glanced over at 
the Chinaman. He was appalled at the 
very suggestion. “N-n-no sah. The Doc 
can have my bed, but I’ll sit up to-night.” 
“Nonsense,” I said, “you go to bed — 
and sleep.” And I nodded toward Sam 
Wong. 

“Not with no dead man — I don’t!” said 
George, stubbornly. We laughed. 

“Well then,” suggested Bob Harrison, 
the other deputy, “why don’t you put Sam 
Wong on the couch, and you two get to- 
gether on the bunk.” 

“That’s it, Doc,” said the Sheriff, with 
a twinkle in his eye, “you got your choice, 
sleeping with George or with the Chink.” 
I glanced at George. He was taking it 
all very seriously. “How about you, 
George— do you sleep quiet or do you roll 
and toss a lot?” 

“I dunno.” 

The Sheriff told me later that he had 
made up his mind that I would occupy the 
couch, irrespective, even if George did sit 
up, but for the moment he was in a joking 
mood. It was a relaxation from the ten- 
sion of the night. 

“Personally,” said the Sheriff, “when it 
comes to sleeping, I draw the color line. 
Now if it was me, I’d rather sleep with 
Sam.” 

“Well,” I said, “there’s no choice between 
a colored man and a Chink, to me, only I 
think in this case Sam will be more quiet. 
He won’t kick me or stick his elbows into 
me.” 

“No,” observed the Sheriff, scratching his 
head thoughtfully, “I don’t think Sam will 
roll or toss much — to-night.” 

“If you’re not offended, George,” I said, 
“I think I’ll bunk with Sam, and save mov- 
ing him. We’ll clean up the bed, push him 
over on his own side near the wall, and 
I’ll turn in,” I yawned. 

George could hardly believe his ears. 
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self, at first. But now I said to myscf — 
why not ? I proceeded to get the bed 
ready. The Sheriff, chuckling, said good 
night and went out into the rain with his 
deputies, leaving me alone with the dead 
and the scared, the yellow and the black. 

There was only the noise of the storm, 
the swishing, howling wind, the pour of 
the rain on roof and windows. Otherwise 
there was silence. Sam Wong was still 
forever. George scarcely breathed. And 
now for a moment I hesitated. What was 
this silly, crazy prank, this nonsense of 
sleeping with a dead man? Just to tease 
and astonish a poor colored boy — just to 
amuse a country Sheriff ! A schoolboy 
idea. Who ever heard of such a thing. 
Well, that was just it — no one did such 
things, so why not? And then, when you 
faced it, it was a very practical thing to 
do, since this was the only double bed, and 
George wouldn’t do it. Besides, if I really 
was not superstitious, what difference did 
it make? 

M Y mind went back to a schoolboy 
prank, when my brother and I, on a 
bet of ten cents, had taken a pup-tent into 
a graveyard to camp and sleep there all 
night, just to prove that we had the nerve 
to do it. Yes, we had been badly scared, 
but we went through with it, and nothing 
happened, though we felt that we richly 
earned the ten cents. Also I thought of 
a trick some of us played in my medical 
college days — the joke we perpetrated on 
a sleeping student by placing a cadaver in 
bed with him. Silly stuff. Nothing to it. 
Oh, well, I said to myself, I had said that 
I would, and so of course I would. 

To George’s great astonishment, I placed 
a folded blanket between Sam Wong and 
myself, made the bed comfortable and then 
turned in alongside of the poor piece of 
clay that a few hours earlier had been an 
excellent laundryman. 

“The only trouble is, George,” I said, 
“that they don’t keep you warm in cold 
weather. Very quiet, but not warm. Fine 
in hot weather, but not so good in winter.” 

It was too much for the colored boy. 
He reluctantly stretched himself on his own 
couch, with the lamp burning high. I 
called to him to douse the glim. He hesi- 
tated, then remonstrated, but I told him I 
couldn’t sleep with a light, and that if 
he wouldn’t kill it, I would, and then he 
obeyed, blowing it out. 

“Good Lord, Doc Bailey,” said George, 
just before he did so, “Yo-yo-yo ain’t 
afraid o’ nothin’!” 

“That’s right. That’s about the size of 
it, George. But listen, a Chinaman is like 
an Indian. When he’s dead, he’s a good 
Chinaman. He’ll not trouble anybody, now. 
It’s the live people you want to be afraid 
of. And I’ve got to have a good, quiet 
sleep.” 

But with the lights out it did seem kind 
of creepy and gruesome, and in my heart 
I did not blame poor George, with his 
unsophisticated, primitive outlook on things, 
for being nervous. I half regretted forc- 
ing him to extinguish the light ; I al- 
most relented to the extent of telling him 
to light it again, if he wished to. But the 
situation was a little interesting, as it was, 
with a slight touch of adventure. Within 
the cabin it was dark and silent ; without, 
the weird noises of the storm. It was a 
lonesome little shack, far up in the moun- 1 


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tains, with not another human being for 
miles around. But stop — perhaps some- 
where in the neighborhood, out there in 
the wilds, were the mysterious marauders 
who had shot down Sam Wong. Heaven 
only knew who they were — or where. Oh, 
well, they were not likely to be seen again 
that night. They were probably far away 
by this time, and even they were human. 
Bandits did not relish bad weather any 
more than anyone else. 

I turned over to lie on my back, and 
said to myself that I must go to sleep. But 
I was conscious of the odors in the room ; 
it still retained the atmosphere of the op- 
erating room, from my disinfectants, and 
the lingering odor of the chloroform that 
I had used. It was just faintly perceptible. 
Had I closed the cork of the bottle tightly? 
Oh, without question. Certainly Sam 
Wong was not giving off the fumes of the 
chloroform from his system, for he had 
ceased to exhale. And from that moment 
I commenced to speculate upon this business 
of death, the unfathomable mystery — next 
to life itself, the greatest of mysteries. 

Even doctors have imagination. Doctors 
arc just like everybody else. Perhaps 
death means less to a doctor than to the 


average man who meets it only a few times 
in a lifetime. Perhaps it means less to an 
undertaker than to a doctor. But to the 
undertaker, or the doctor, or the soldier, 
death is always death — a stupendous fact 
of human experience, meaning exactly the 
same to one as to another. On the other 
hand, there is no doubt that familiarity 
dulls the edge of one’s sensibilities to any- 
thing. And probably a doctor would do 
such an absurd thing as I had undertaken, 
much more readily and easily than most 
other people. 

But, just the same, my own imagination 
went to work as I lay there in the dark 
alongside of the departed laundryman. 

Was my bedfellow really dead? 

Doctor Bailey is to have a weird ex- 
perience in that lonely shack, and his 
thought — “is Sam Wong really dead?” 
turns out to be but the beginning of it. 
The trail leading to that string of 
pearls is destined to give him more 
than one thrill before it ends. And — 
where does it end? Read in August 
True Detective Mysteries, of the 
hair-raising development that follow 
the Doctor’s night with the “dead 
Chinaman.” On the news-stand July 
15th. 


The Riddle of the Grinning Skull 

( Continued from page 21) 


September of 1922 a foreign-looking man 
came to the complaint desk and told the 
story of being robbed by his wife. He 
gave the name of John Turak. Of course, 
the name meant nothing. Neither did the 
case amount to much. To begin with, 
Turak could not make a complaint because 
under the laws of Michigan a husband or 
wife cannot steal from each other. 

“Who is your wife?” asked Fleming 
more as a matter of form than anything 
else. 

“She was Mrs. Mary Podolsky,” re- 
plied the complainant. 

Memories of another day when a woman 
and man were brought in for investigation 
in connection with Joseph Podolsky’s 
death might have been revived by the 
terrific heat. Fleming thought for a 
moment or two and then said : “Is she the 
woman who was arrested for murder a 
couple of years ago?” 

“Yes, yes,” replied the man eagerly — 
“that’s her. Do you know her?” 

“No, but I’ve heard of her,” Fleming 
replied dryly. “Then she didn’t marry her 
roomer ?” 

“No, but I wish she had. Here she’s 
stolen all I’ve got and I’m afraid she is 
going to Europe with it.” 

Fleming ended the conversation by tak- 
ing Turak to the room used as the head- 
quarters of the homicide squad. He told 
Lieutenants Wencel and Collins what had 
happened. They were anxious to talk 
with the man. 

“Something seems to be troubling her. 
She would wake up in the night shudder- 
ing and crying. She said the house was 
haunted — that she could see ghosts. She 
has told me for a long time that she was 
going back to the old country. 1 don’t 
know what to make of her. She acts 
crazy.” 

The greatest surprise to the officers was 
that she had not married Zydko. 


“He dropped out of sight almost as 
soon as he got out of jail. I don’t think 
they were in love with each other. I knew 
him. He was a nice man.” 

Further questioning revealed the fact 
that his wife had assured him Podolsky 
was dead and that it would be all right for 
Turak to marry her. 

“He’ll never trouble us,” he quoted her 
as saying. 

Turak had married her more than a 
year previously. 

“I think she killed him,” he said. His 
desire for revenge had come to the front. 
“She would not act like she did unless 
something was on her mind.” 

“The case has worried me for three 
years,” Wencel told him. “If we can only 
get her in custody again I am sure we 
can get a confession out of her. That 
man is dead as sure as I’m alive.” 

A ND so the quest was on and interest 
. again had been revived in the mystery. 
Mrs. Podolsky-Turak owned property. If 
she was leaving the country, undoubtedly 
she would sell it. If she did, she would 
have to go to the county building to sign 
legal papers. That was one place to 
watch. Another way to trace her was by 
means of the expressman who moved her 
trunks. Fortunately neighbors had seen 
the truck that had taken them away, but 
when the officers investigated they found 
the truck had been stolen the very day it 
had been used in the moving. Undoubt- 
edly the man who stole it had taken it to 
haul these things away. 

When Wencel and Collins were unable 
to get any place in that direction, they 
centered their interest on the county build- 
ing, in addition to the federal building, 
where she would have to get her passport. 
But then her story of going abroad might 
be a ruse. The chances were that she 
would sell and move to another city. 


True Detective Mysteries 


63 


It was a week later that the call came 
from the county building that she was 
there making out the papers that would 
dispose of her holdings. Wencel and 
Collins made a quick run to the build- 
ing and arrested her before she knew 
what had happened. 

“You know I didn’t kill my husband,’* 
she said almost pathetically. “I loved 
him too well.” 

“I think you hired him killed," said Col- 
lins bluntly. “We’ve got the goods on you 
this time, for your present husband says 
you did kill him.” 

“I did not!*' she shouted. “He lies!’* 

“Then what are you worried about ? 
What makes you say the house is haunted? 
Why do you get up in the night so fright- 
ened that you ask if daylight will never 
come? A woman with a clear conscience 
doesn’t do that.” 

She did not answer. 

“Where’s Zydko? I’m surprised you 
didn’t marry him.” 

There was no reply. She hung her 
head. 

She was taken to a cell in the woman’s 
detention home and several hours later 
she was brought to the homicide squad 
room, where Wencel and Collins were 
closeted with her for more than an hour. 

I happened in the squad room when the 
two officers emerged. 

“Boys, she’s confessed!” they said tri- 
umphantly. 

“To the murder of her husband?” 

“Yes — he’s buried under the house they 
used to live in. We are going out to get 
the body now.” 

It did not take long to get to the house 
and in a few minutes we were in the base- 
ment, which had only an earthen floor. 

“She said it was near the center post,” 
said Collins. “We’ll dig there.” 

A MOMENT or two later shovels 
struck an obstacle. Careful digging 
disclosed it to be a bone of the arm. More 
digging and the skeleton of the man was 
found. The body had been dressed at 
the time of death, but dampness and mould 
had rotted flesh and clothing away until 
only the skeleton was left. More careful 
digging and the skull was located. There 
was a hole in the front of the skull. 

“Shot,” said Wencel. “By George, the 
bullet is in the skull.” 

He rattled it. A pellet of lead fell out 
in his hand. 

“Now that we have found the corpus 
delicti he said triumphantly, “I am going 
to take this much of it to Headquarters 
and when the case comes up for trial we 
can show he really is dead. Of course 
there are no witnesses and we have only 
her word that she killed him. This evi- 
dence of death may scare her into stick- 
ing to her story. The coroner was called 
to take the rest of the skeleton while Col- 
lins and Wencel took the skull back to 
Police Headquarters. 

And so it was arranged to bring Mrs. 
Podolsky-Turak into the darkened room 
in which the shades had been drawn while 
the grinning skull faced her on the table. 
Cruel, perhaps, but in view of circum- 
stances — necessary. It was believed she 

would tell the true story of the death of 
her husband if she was confronted with 
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happened, the police are to be compli- 
mented for their bit of strategy'. 

What occurred when she was faced with 
the skull already has been told — and never 
were a more surprised group of officers 
gathered about a prisoner. When she had 
recovered from the fainting spell men- 
tioned at the beginning, the questioning 
continued : 

“This is the skull of Peter Zydko?” 
asked Wencel in tones that told only too 
well how he doubted her story. “Why, 
he isn’t dead, is he?” 

“He is,” responded the heart-broken 
woman. “I shot him to death.” 

“But didn’t you tell us this was your 
husband who was buried there? Where 
is he buried?” 

“I don’t know,” she responded sadly. 
“I wish I did. Zydko killed him and 
buried his body. Then I killed Zydko and 
buried him under the house.” 

She paused. 

“You see, when you arrested me this 
afternoon I was so frantic I didn’t know 
what I was doing. I have been haunted 
for the last three years by the ghost of 
Zydko. I killed in self-defense. When 
you asked me about different things this 
afternoon I guess I didn’t know what I 
was talking about.” 

I N spite of hours of questioning she in- 
sisted that Zydko had slain her husband 
after he had told her to get out of the 
automobile on that fateful night in July 
more than three years previously. She 
said he had told her that he wanted to 
have a private conversation with him and 
that she knew nothing of his death until 
Zydko returned several hours later and 
said Podolsky was dead. She added that 
they then had agreed upon a story to tell 
if they were arrested, and their tale when 


they were taken into custody was the re- 
sult of that agreement. 

Zydko wanted to marry her, she said. 
About two weeks after they were released, 
he came into the house with a gun in his 
hand and told her unless she married him 
he would kill her. She managed to get 
the gun away from him and then shot 
him through the head. 

She took the body to the basement, 
where she buried it, and then she left the 
neighborhood. She insisted Zydko had 
threatened to attack her and when her case 
came up for trial she told the same story, 
but the jury brought in a verdict of first 
degree murder and she was sentenced to 
life imprisonment. Police were convinced 
she had a hand in the slaying of her hus- 
band and that she was not as guiltless as 
she pretended. 

The thought that she had killed Zydko 
had been preying on her mind so much of 
late, she said, that she determined to leave 
the city with all the available cash she 
could gather. She insisted that she liked 
Turak, but she was afraid if he went with 
her he would form the chain that would 
link her with her past, so she decided to go 
alone and take all he had. 

And so by stealing from the man she 
had pretended to love, she was caught in 
a trap of her own making. If she had 
dropped out or sight quietly she would be 
at liberty to-day, and the murder of Joseph 
Podolsky still would be an unsolved riddle 
while no one would know that Zydko was 
dead. 

But then, every criminal is caught sooner 
or later, either through carelessness or by 
overstepping himself. With Mrs. Podol- 
sky-Turak, it was the latter. And she is 
paying the penalty of her crime within a 
few miles of the scene of the slaying. 


The Night Riders from Hottentot 

( Continued from page 51) 


his money for anything but sheer essen- 
tials. 

He was the sort of a man who would 
insist on his wife “making herself useful,” 
I deducted, and when I noticed a large 
mirror on the wall, at first I assumed 
that this had been installed by Mrs. Hahn. 
Upon examining the toilet preparations 
on the shelf which had been nailed up be- 
neath it, however, I came to the conclu- 
sion that it was a silent deponent, testify- 
ing to the vanity of the Hottentot distiller 
himself. 

N EAR the window was an old-fashioned 
bookkeeper’s desk and high stool. On 
lifting up the sloping cover, I found the 
compartment filled with ledgers, written up 
in a fine Spencerian script. Occasional 
notes in the margin were made in a flow- 
ery, but rather illiterate scrawl. Tucked 
into one corner was a crocheted case con- 
taining a powder-puff and compact, and a 
scrap of paper on which was written in 
a dashing hand, “Tuesday, as usual?” 

It is from such silent witnesses that I 
get my most important leads in building 
up my schedule of examining a suspect. 

Satisfied with my booty, I returned to 
the house, taking with me one of the ledg- 
ers and the powder-puff. Two swarthy 


men in laborer’s clothes were being exam- 
ined by the District Attorney when I re- 
entered the parlor. 

“These are Tom Carone and Paul 
Patz — the two friends of Hahn’s who 
visited here just after he had discovered 
his wife had shot herself. Kerns brought 
them in a few' minutes ago,” Mr. Latimer 
explained. “Do you want to question 
them?” 

I said I might as well, and asked them 
to tell us their story as briefly as possible. 

“Yesterday evening w r e drove up to Hot- 
tentot in ” Carone began. 

“Where’s that?” the D. A. asked him. 

“’Bout half a mile from here. It’s 
called Hottentot ’cause they sell raw 
liquor and red wine there to the men work- 
ing on the new estate. We met Hahn 
coming out of the door of the place ” 

“Did he seem excited?” I asked. 

“No, not exactly,” he answered slowly. 
“George was always a quiet sort ; by that 
I mean, he don’t get excited easy. He was 
jolly enough, and was kiddin’ some young 
fellows and girls when wc drove up. 
When he saw us, he left them. Before we 
got out of the flivver, he says, sudden- 
like: 

“‘There’s an awful rowdy crow r d in 




True Detective Mysteries 


65 


there. Why don’t you boys come on over 
to the house and we’ll have a good time?’ 

“We says, ‘All right, we’ll meet you 
there,’ and drove off. Before we’d gone 
more than a few yards, we heard him 
start off in his car, and a minute later he 
dashed past us. It’s a narrow road and 
he had to run off on the field to get by. 
He didn’t say nothing and I said to my 
buddies, ‘Guess he’s gone to tell the Missis 
we’re cornin’.' Ellen’s a good sport — I 
mean, the poor gal was a good sport, full 
of fun and great company. But she was 
wantin’ — you know — more fun an’ ’’ 

11 ET on with your story,’’ Mr. Latimer 
ordered him. 

“Well, I just told you that. You might 
have thought it funny his getting past us 
like that. Anyway, we went a bit slow 
to give him time. When we got to the 
door, we found it locked. We pounded 
on the panels, and after a bit, he came and 
opened it. He was cryin’ and seemed 
terrible upset. 

“ ‘My God. Tom,’ he said to me. ‘Ellen’s 
killed herself over me.’ 

“I says : ‘Go on, you’re kiddin* us,’ and 
then when he kept on wailin’ I says to 
Paul, ‘The fellow’s drunk. Let’s go back 
to Hottentot.’ 

“But he says: ‘Come up-stairs and I’ll 
show youse.’ 

“We went up with him, and sure ’nougb, 
there was Ellen lyin’ across the bed all 
covered with blood. ‘See what’s she’s 
done,’ he says. ‘I’ve lost my best friend. 
Oh, Ellen, why did you do it?’ or some- 
thing like that. Then he picks up a bit o’ 
paper off the bed ’’ 

“Whereabouts on the bed was the paper 
lying?’’ I interrupted his yarn to ask. 

“Lessee ” The man thought a mo- 

ment, wrinkling his brows in an endeavor 
to recall the scene. 

“I know,” put in Paul Patz finally ; 
“it was lyin’ near her right hand. The 
gun was lyin’ under the back of her left 
hand.” 

“Yesser, that’s right,” Carone said and 
nodded. “George picks up the note and 
gives it over to me: ‘Read that, Tom,’ 

says he; ‘I can’t read it.’ Well, I reads it: 
‘I end my life for you. Ellen,’ it says.” 

“What did you do with the note?” I 
asked. 

“I lays it back on the bed somewheres, 
and then says: ‘We’ll have to call the 

constable.’ I telephones to Kerns and then 
George and Paul and me, we went down to 
the kitchen and waited till he came.” 

“How did Hahn act? Did he seem 
stunned ?” 

When I put these questions to them, the 
men looked at each other and seemed em- 
barrassed. 

“Well — it looked a bit like put-on stuff 
to me,” Patz said, after a considerable 
pause. “ ’Course, Ellen was a mighty bright 
girl, and it was her that was the business 
head. They quarreled a lot. George was 
crazy ’bout money, and I guess he’s near 
’bout a hundred thousand in the bank, due 
to Ellen.” 

He looked to his companion as if for 
corroboration. Carone nodded solemnly in 
confirmation. “Yeh, I guess he’s all that, 
and him was only a glazier in Amesbury 
when he hitched up with Ellen.” 

Though I questioned them at length, 






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I got nothing of much importance from 
the examination. 

“I’ll run up and see Hahn now,*' I told 
the D. A. “I want to talk to him alone/’ 

“All right,” he said. “I’ll wait down 
here. You men may go now. If we need 
you later, we’ll call you.” 

Hahn was sitting slumped down on a 
small rocking-chair with his back delib- 
erately turned toward the bed when I en- 
tered the low, narrow room on the east 
side of the hallway. 

The dead woman was certainly a grue- 
some sight ! Her face was so covered 
with blood that it was impossible to dis- 
cern just where the bullet had entered. 
The nose appeared to be fractured, and it 
appeared to me that the bullet might have 
been fired through the nostril, emerging 
through the skull. The hair was matted 
with blood, and on the top of the head I 
saw a small, jagged hole. The bone of 
the skull had been splintered just as a 
pane of glass would be if a bullet were 
fired through it. 

Blood soaked the bedclothes and the 
woman’s garments, which were roughly 
disarranged. 

To the uninitiated, it would have appeared 
that the woman had been brutally beaten 
before her death. Great black, blue and 
green bruises appeared on the half -clad 
body and the left eye was surrounded by 
an ugly, dark ring. 

After death, however, it frequently hap- 
pens that certain parts of the body become 
discolored when the blood congeals, and 
when a person gets shot in the brain, the 
eye on the side farther from the point of 
entry of the bullet usually becomes blood- 
shot and the surrounding flesh greatly dis- 
colored. 

Only an autopsy could definitely deter- 
mine where the bullet had entered, and 
whether it had been self-inflicted, for any 
injury to the brain, unless instant death 
occurs, is apt to cause bleeding from the 
nose, mouth and eyes. 

While the rest of the room was as neat 
as wax, except for the small Chinese grass 
rug which had been pushed awry under 
the bed, the linen was rumpled consider- 
ably. This might have been caused by 
the convulsions of the young woman in 
what is popularly called the “death agony.’* 
On the dressing-table, cheap pink celluloid 
toilet articles were arranged in an unbroken 
row. 

“What were you doing with a revolver, 
George?” I asked Hahn abruptly. 

“I always carry one,” he mumbled. 
“There’s a lot of tough customers hanging 
’round the restaurant.” 

H E had buried his face in his hands 
when I addressed him, and started 
rocking back and forth nervously. 

“Turn around this way, and don’t mumble 
like that. I can’t make out what you’re 
saying,” I commanded gruffly. If the 
man’s wife had committed suicide — and so 
far the actual evidence was in favor of 
this assumption — he was to be pitied, of 
course. But like the others, I received a 
deep suspicion that he was “putting it on 
too thick.” 

He did as I asked — at least he turned 
half-way round, and uncovered his face. 
Clasping and unclasping his hands spas- 
modically, he looked up at me with tear- 
bleared eyes. It was a hard face he dis- 
closed, with small, cunning eyes and a 


full-lipped, sensual mouth. Though his 
suit was creased and mussed through his 
having sat up in it all night, he somehow 
gave me the impression that in his normal 
state he was somewhat of a dandy. 

“How did you carry your gun?” I asked, 
as he blinked curiously at me. 

“In a holster.” 

“Now listen. Hahn, I ni going to make 
this just as easy for you as I can but 
I want you to answer my questions truth- 
fully. Did you kill your wife?” 

I asked the question in quiet, matter-of- 
fact tones. He looked at me in amazement. 
His slack lips parted like a dead fish’s. 
For an instant he forgot to groan and 
wail. It was as if the idea that he was 
suspected had been thrust upon him for 
the first time. If he were guilty, the 
thought again came to me, he was one 
marvelous actor. 

“Of course not,” he said thickly. “Why 
on earth should I kill Ellen? She was all 
I had. Oh, Ellen, why did you do it?” 
“I’m sorry for you, Hahn, but brace up 
man. The quicker you answer my ques- 
tions, the sooner we’ll all get away from 
here,” I broke in, as he seemed all ready 
for a fresh outburst of sorrow. “I know 
you’re going to miss Ellen a whole lot. 
Helped you with your business, didn’t she? 
Delivering hooch and that sort of thing?” 
“No, Ellen didn’t ever do that,” he pro- 
tested indignantly. “She was a swell edu- 
cated girl. She could write like a copy- 
book.” 

“Kept your books for you, didn’t she?” 
I asked casually. He nodded in an absent- 
minded fashion. “I saw the ledger in the 
still-house. Left-handed, wasn’t she?” 
“She was not!” He denied the implica- 
tion as emphatically as if I had accused 
the dead woman of some horrible vice. 
“Why’d you ask that?” He added the 
question, looking up at me with a hint of 
fear in his eyes. 

W ITHOUT answering him, I drew 
his attention to a framed snapshot 
which was hanging on the wall near the 
dresser. 

“That your wife?” I watched him 
closely as I shot out the question. 

Without glancing in the direction of the 
picture, he nodded. A flash of intense 
hate shone for an instant in the watery 
eyes. Jealousy? Was that the motive? 
I asked and answered the question in- 
wardly. No, Hahn wasn’t the type to 
kill in a fit of jealous rage. He was too 
selfish and conceited to suffer from that. 

“Who is that young man with her? They 
seem to be pretty good pals?” Almost in- 
stantly Hahn had regained control of him- 
self, and he answered indifferently enough : 
“Fellow by the name of Henry Eckert, 

used to board with us when ” 

“Tell me the truth, Hahn!” I said 
sharply. “I saw murder in your eyes when 
I referred to that snapshot. ” 

He shrugged his shoulders impatiently. 
His lips curled mockingly, as he answered 
sneeringly : “Oh, that was over a year 

ago. He boasted of it — the swine! Every- 
body knew. You can ask ’em. I forgave 
her and took her back.” 

A blank ! I admitted to myself. As 
Hahn said, it would be easy to prove the 
period of the illicit affair. If he had con- 
doned the offense, it wasn’t likely that he 
would brood over it and take revenge a 
year later; he wasn’t that sort of a man. 



“Ellen was a very religious girl, wasn’t 
she?’’ I asked him, abruptly changing the 
subject. “Went to church regularly and 
all that?” 

“Yes, she was?” he answered, looking 
at me in a puzzled sort of way. 

“Did she go to church yesterday morn- 
ing?” 

“Yes. What are you driving at? Say, 
don’t you want to hear how it happened?” 
he demanded, a look of fright coming into 
his eyes, as he half rose to his feet. 

“Sure, I do,” I said very slowly, looking 
at him hard. “But I don’t want a repeti- 
tion of the story you’ve kept telling. You’re 
keeping something back, so what’s the use 
of my wasting my time. Wait here!” 

“Am I under arrest?” he shouted. 

“Oh, no, but I’m pretty sure that the 
District Attorney will want you to come 
along on a little trip with us. Just a 
minute, now.” 

I called in the trooper and asked him 
to remain with Hahn while I held a short 
conference with the D. A. 

“I think it is murder and that Hahn is 
the murderer without a doubt about it,” I 
told Mr. Latimer. “When we get hold of 
the suicide note, I’m sure I’ll be able to 
prove it!” 

B RIEFLY, I explained the trend of my 
reasoning and the findings which had 
resulted. 

"But the motive?” he demanded. 

“Hahn is the only soul on earth who 
knows that, so he will have to supply 
it.” I noticed that the D. A. looked a 
mite skeptical, and I added, “I promise 
you that he will.” 

“Very well,” he agreed. “We’ll take 
Hahn to Westfield and you can continue 
your examination in the grand jury room. 
On the strength of your deductions, I’ll 
have Doctor Frisch perform the autopsy. 
We can get the gun and the note from 
Judge Kinsey on the way.” 

I confess that I was somewhat taken 
aback at Hahn’s attitude when the District 
Attorney ordered him to put on his hat 
and coat and accompany us to Westfield. 

“Say, I want to get a lawyer before you 
begin questioning me any more,” he said, 
his face flushing angrily. “I know my 
constitutional rights, and you ain’t never 
warned nje that what I’ve said might be 
used against me.” 

“Get a lawyer if you want to.” The 
D. A. spoke very quietly, but very coldly. 
“You have not been accused of a crime 
and you are not under arrest. But you 
are obliged by law to submit to the ques- 
tioning which I, as District Attorney, or 
any of my authorized representatives, put 
to you. You are not obliged by law to 
answer the questions put to you by a mem- 
ber of the police department — but that is 
another thing entirely.” 

Hahn looked bewildered. The pose of 
grief-stricken widower had evaporated, 
and he seemed to realize for the first time 
that he was rather hard up against some- 
thing dangerous. His little rat-like eyes 
shifted malevolently. 

However, he saw the wisdom of submit- 
ting and without another word he dressed 
and went along with us. 

We stopped at Judge Kinsey’s house and 
obtained the note and gun. 

Immediately I compared it with the hand- 
writing in the ledger which I had brought 
along. 


True Detective Mysteries 


67 


“There it is,” I pointed out to the Dis- 
trict Attorney. “The rather sprawling 
handwriting in the margin is identical with 
that in the note. The dead woman kept 
the books, and used the regular Spencerian 
script. She wrote automatically, and no 
matter how hurried or nervous she might 
be, the fundamental formation of the let- 
ters would not change.” 

T HE note had been written on an en- 
velope, the sides of which had been 
torn open in order to make a flat sheet 
of paper. 

“That’s so. What are you going to 
do?” the D. A. asked as he examined the 
ugly, blood-stained envelope carefully. 
“There are finger-prints here.” 

“They won’t help much, because we know 
that Hahn and Carone both handled it. 
The absence of Ellen’s finger-prints would 
be significant, but since I believe the en- 
velope belongs to a package that was on 
a table in the parlor, she may or may not 
have handled it. However, I’m going to 
try a little experiment which I believe will 
work.” 

When we left the Hahn house, the early 
winter dusk had fallen. The wind had 
died down, and a drizzling rain had set 
in. Through the windows of the limousine 
the suspected man stared sullenly. If he 
heard what we were discussing, he showed 
no signs of it. The wild party of the af- 
ternoon before, the long, sleepless night, 
followed by the day’s continual chain of 
nerve-racking events, were taking their 
toll. 

Before going into the District Attorney’s 
offices, we went into a restaurant and had 
supper. The hot food and strong coffee 
put new life into Hahn and when we 
reached the grand jury room, he was once 
more full of pep and alert. 

As I was about to close the door, I saw 
-Tulley, the editor, loitering in the hall. 

“Want anything, Tulley?” I called out to 
him. 

“Yes, just as soon as I can get it,” he 
grinned back. “I’ll stick ’round here as 
long as I can.” 

It was very, very quiet in the grand 
jury room. I secured a sheaf of white 
sheets of paper and placed them before 
1 lalin. 

“Now, I want you to write the twenty- 
six letters of the alphabet in capitals,” I 
said, handing him a pencil, "and while 
you are doing that I’ll ask you a few 
questions.” 

As soon as he started, I could see that 
he was attempting to disguise his hand- 
writing. There were two letters I wanted 
to get particularly, i.c., the capital “I” and 
the capital “C.” These, in the suicide 
note, were written with a peculiar flourish. 
It so happened, however, that these letters 
were not included in the marginal notes 
in the ledger. 

i: AFTER the party in the afternoon 
** where did you go, George?” I asked 
him in a low, monotonous voice. “You 

drove off somewhere ” 

“Yes, Ellen wanted some chop suey, and 
we started off . . . but it was getting 
late ...” he began. Even at that early 
stage he was finding it difficult to keep 
his mind on the task of disguising his 
handwriting, and at the same time, keep 
from tripping up in his replies to the ques- 
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“But there aren’t any chop suey places 
near Waver ly,” I suggested. His mention 
of chop suey instead of merely saying they 
went off to supper led me to believe that 
in some way the chop suey had an impor- 
tant connection with the sordid crime. 

“No, there wasn’t any place nearer than 
Dunmore,” he answered slowly. “When 
we got to Leeton, I stopped the car and 
said we couldn’t go any farther. We 
would eat there, I said, or not at all. Ellen 
was a very determined woman. She 
wouldn’t leave the car, so I went in and 
ate by myself.’* 

At this point, he finished his first set of 
twenty-six letters. I made him write them 
over and over again, plying him with 
questions all the time. In the frantic ef- 
fort to keep his mind on two defenses, he 
slipped up several times. 

For instance, I gained the admission 
from him that he had taunted his wife 
with having cultivated a taste for chop 
suey through her association with Henry 
Eckert. They had quarreled bitterly on 
the way back home. 

The Hottentot was a free-and-easy 
where negroes and Italian laborers of the 
lower classes gathered and made merry 
on Sundays, I concluded, and Hahn was 
anxious to get back in case any trouble 
arose. 

When they returned to the house, Ellen 
wanted him to remain at home and call up 
some neighbors. He told her that there 
might be mischief over at the Hottentot, 
unless he was there to keep order. She 
accused him of wanting to flirt with the 
colored girls and young white girls who 
used to join the weekly carousals. 

It doesn’t take long to tell this, but it 
took me a full five hours to worm these 
facts out of him. And while he wrestled 
with my questions and wrote over and 
over again all the letters of the alphabet 
in capitals and small letters, building up 
and tearing down, as his attention veered 
this way and yon, the hands of the clock 
in the grand jury room moved on toward 
midnght. 

“XTOW, Hahn, I want you to write from 

1 N my dictation : T end my life for you. 
Ellen. I end my life for you. Ellen. I 
end my life for you. Ellen.’ Faster, man, 
what are you afraid of? You make me 
suspicious !’* 

Just then someone knocked on the door. 
I got up, unlocked it. The District At- 
torney and Tulley were standing there. 

“Say, how much longer” Tulley began, 
when in a flash it came to me that now 
was the time to take a long shot. I might 
hit the bull’s-eye, or I might miss it a 
mile. If the latter — I was swamped. The 
psychological situation I had been care- 
fully building up had been broken into, so 
I took a chance. 

“It’s all ready now,” I bluffed. “Come 
right in. Meet Mr. Hahn. Hahn, this 
is Mr. Tulley of the Rc'inczv. Now, I’m 
going to tell you just how Ellen died!” 

Hahn’s face assumed a dirty, gray pal- 
lor, his full lips lost their color and crawled 
up over yellowish fangs. 

“Last night when the Hahns got home 
they had an argument. Ellen wanted Hahn 
to stay home w f ith her and he told her he 
had to go over to the Hottentot. Ellen 
had changed into a kimono, and was sitting 
on a chair near the little table, which stood 
close by the door leading into the hall. 


“Just see how plausible it all is. Ellen 
calls George some ugly names and says 
he would rather play round with the girls 
at the Hottentot than stay home with his 
wife. He smashed her on the nose and 
just as he was drawing off for another 

blow Nowr, George, what would you 

do if I were to start walloping you? If I 
were to come over there and start to 
smash you all over the place?” I bent 
over him and stared right into his eyes. 

I wasn’t very positive about this first 
scene, so I had to distract the man’s atten- 
tion from any inaccuracies in my descrip- 
tion. 

“I — I — don’t know ” he stuttered 

“Don’t be foolish. Of course you know,” 

I spoke gruffly. “You’re sitting there 
helpless, and I go for you, ready to beat 
you up. You know what you’d do. You’d 
get up and make a break for the door or 
the window, and try to escape me.” I 
paused. 

“That’s just — what — Ellen — did. She 

fell over the little table. As soon as she 
got to her feet you grabbed at her clothes 
and tore them. She managed to shake 
loose and tore up-stairs, bawling for dear 
life. Isn't that true?” 

“Yes, that’s right,” Hahn said. Breath- 
lessly he had been hanging on every word. 

“I DON’T want to he bloodthirsty, but I 
* want the truth. When you got to the 
door it was closed. There was no key in 
the lock. Ellen was trying desperately to 
hold the door closed until she could push 
some furniture against it. But you lunged 
your body forward like a battering-ram 
and the door was forced open. 

“Ellen was sent sprawling on the bed. 
In a mad frenzy of rage, you pulled your 
gun from its holster and shot her through 
the top of the head, just as she rose up 
to make another effort to escape. That’s 
how’ you killed Ellen!” 

“No ! No ! No, I didn’t I She took 
the gun from the dresser and when I en- 
tered the bedroom she said, ‘I’ll kill you!* 
In wrestling for the gun, it went off and 
Ellen was killed.” 

“Well, have it your way,” I shrugged. 
“Then what happened. How did you come 
to write that note?” 

“I went over to the Hottentot and took 
a drink. When I saw Carone and the 
Patz boys. I suggested their coming home 
with me, because I was afraid people would 
think I had murdered Ellen. I picked up 
an envelope from the floor in the parlor 
and scribbled the note. Then I let the 
boys in.” 

“Part of that’s right and part is wrong,” 
I said when he had finished. “Ellen didn’t 
pick that gun off the dresser. If she 
had grabbed it off the dresser, the toilet 
articles would have been disarranged. Be- 
sides, you said yourself that you always 
carried your gun in its holster. It isn’t 
likely that you would go unarmed on a 
Sunday evening when you expected trouble. 
Also, what was the sense of writing that 
note, if the shooting was an accident? 
Why try to make it like suicide ?’* 

“Well, I told you, I told you! I knew 
people would think I had killed Ellen.” 

An officer appeared at the door and 
spoke in a husky, mysterious tone, “Mr. 
Latimer, Doctor Frisch is on the tele- 
phone.” 

The District Attorney left the room. 
While he was gone, I told Harris Tulley 


True Detective Mysteries 


just how I had promptly arrived at the 
conclusion that Ellen had never committed 
suicide. 

“There is an extremely low percentage 
of religious people of the dead woman’s 
faith among reported suicides. This spe- 
cially applies to women. The belief is that 
a suicide is damned. Ellen was apparently 
a religious woman. The small table had, 
I surmised, cither been knocked over by 
Ellen herself, or by someone else who was 
pursuing her. I found a piece of blood- 
stained lingerie in the hall. Since the girl 
was not left-handed, she would not have 
shot herself with the left hand, and the 
gun would have fallen on the side of the 
hand which had fired it. The logical place 
for the note would have been on the left- 
hand side, since it was written by the right 
hand. Whatever had led Hahn to murder 
his wife, it was, I felt pretty positive, 
something which had hurt his vanity. Ca- 
rone, in describing the note, said it was 
scrawled. The entries in the ledger were 
written in a very fine hand. That’s 
all !” 

Except to say that Doctor Frisch re- 
ports that on opening the head, he dis- 


covered that Ellen Hahn had been mur- 
dered. The bullet could not possibly have 
been self-inflicted, nor could it have been 
shot off in any struggle for the possession 
of the gun. This is shown by the course 
the bullet took through the brain. 

H AHN was convicted of murder in the 
s cond degree. It was a well-established 
fact that he had been drinking heavily on 
the day of the murder, and the prosecution 
was unable to prove premeditation. He 
had killed his wife in a frenzy of anger be- 
cause his vanity had been hurt by her 
epithets and her accusation that he con- 
sorted with colored women. 

He was sentenced to from ten to twenty 
years in prison and is now in Sing Sing. 

A very stupid, sordid crime, which is 
another proof of the old adage that mur- 
der will out. Hahn had been clever enough 
to amass quite a snug fortune — which was 
consumed in the expenses of his trial. 

But, strangely enough, he showed the 
intelligence of a child of ten when his life 
hung in the balance! This only goes to 
show how our emotions can undo all the 
deep-laid plans ever invented by man. 


The Seven Who Died 

( Continued from page 39) 


the Doctor to the couch and began tying 
him up. I had just about finished doing 
this — and it was done swiftly, I can assure 
you — when the unexpected happened. 

There came a knock on the door! 

For some reason or other, it was the 
last thing in the world 1 had expected, 
though as I look back on it now, it was 
probably quite ordinary. I waited, my 
every sense alert, my heart almost at a 
standstill. Who could it be? Who could 
want to come in at this moment, this most 
important moment in my life, when the 
entrance of anyone spelled ruination to my 
well laid plan? 

I kept quiet, hoping that if there was no 
answer they would understand that the 
doctor did not wish to be bothered at 
that moment. And, indeed, it turned out 
so. 

After waiting a minute or so, who- 
ever it was evidently decided just as I 
had hoped, and there was the sound of re- 
treating footsteps. I thanked whatever 
stars there were on guard over me that 
it was an inflexible rule that no one in 
the institution, either guard or patient, 
was allowed to step into the Director’s 
office without his permission. 

I breathed a sigh of relief, relinquished 
the grip I had taken on my knife handle 
in my pocket, and leaped for the push- 
button under the edge of the Director’s 
desk that worked the catch on the great 
door in front of the asylum. I pushed 
this button, and knew the door was open — 
providing, of course, that the contrivance 
worked. 

I switched out the light in the office, 
hoping that whoever was in front of the 
house would imagine that the Director 
had done it, which was usual at about this 
time, and in the darkness I softly stepped 
to the French window. 

Silently I fingered for the knob which 
opened the window, and in quiet — and a 
great deal of trepidation — I threw the 


window wide. In an instant I was out 
on the balcony. 

So far, so good. I could not afford to 
remain an instant in that exposed posi- 
tion. I clambered silently over the railing, 
and landed on my hands and feet right 
in the midst of as gorgeous a dahlia bed 
as it has ever been my good fortune to fall 
into. 

S O far everything had gone as I hoped 
and planned. Better, in fact, for I 
had been able to dispose of the Director 
without killing him, as I had been pre- 
pared to do, if necessary. The hardest 
part of my work was still ahead of me, 
however. I could not see the gate from 
where I stood, as there was a tall rose- 
bush in front of me, which, perhaps was 
very fortunate, but I knew that before it 
stood two sentinels, and that disposing of 
them was not to be quite as simple as dis- 
posing of the Director had been. Yet, it 
might turn out quite easy. The efficiency 
of my plan lay in its surprise and un- 
expectedness. It had worked with the Di- 
rector, who was undoubtedly more intelli- 
gent than his guards. How much more 
easily then might it not work with the 
guards ? 

I had only to catch them off guard for 
a fraction of an instant, dash through the 
gate, which I knew would open at my 
touch, and be off down the road and into 
the woods. It was simply a case of pick- 
ing the exact instant. But that had to be 
soon, almost instantly, in fact, for the Di- 
rector would be recovering consciousness 
in a minute or so, and I knew that it would 
not take him long to work the gag out of 
his mouth and give the alarm. And if the 
alarm was given while I was still in the 
grounds, I knew that then it would be too 
late for me to get out. 

I dropped flat on my stomach and 
worked my way through the grass and 
the flower beds like a snake, and as 


69 



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True Detective Mysteries 

silently. In a moment or two I could see 
the high iron grill work of the gate out- 
lined against the somber sky, and on each 
side of it the two guards, standing still 
and silent as statues. I lay there, not 
more than a dozen feet from them and 
the gate that spelled freedom for me, 
measuring my distance and my probable 
chances, and shifting a little in my posi- 
tion so as to get my hand more firmly 
upon the handle of my knife, and also to 
he able to get my packet of pepper out 
of my trousers pocket. I got a handful 
of this strong pepper in my left hand, 
shifted back on my belly, and lay watch- 
ing the two sentinels. They were immov- 
able. They appeared to have been im- 
movable forever, and as though they 
never could move. 

This was bad. I did not expect them 
to have such a close and instant attention 
to business. I had thought that they might 
be talking together, as I noticed they often 
did, or looking through the grilled gate, 
or otherwise acting so that I could catch 
them in a slightly distracted moment. I 
did not expect to catch them off their 
guard completely, but I did expect them 
to be relaxed in their duty a trifle, as they 
usually were. 

Y ES, it was bad. Ordinarily, a man 
could have lain there and bided his 
time, because eventually they were bound 
to unbend and converse with each other, 
and walk a few feet here and there. But 
in this case time was distinctly “of the 
essence,” as the lawyers have it, and some- 
thing had to be done at once if it was 
to be done at all. At any moment Doctor 
Marceau would come to and manage to 
give the alarm and then escape would be 
quite impossible. 

I resolved upon a bold move. My bold- 
ness was what had carried me through suc- 
cessfully so far, and I believed it would 
carry me still farther. I released my grip 
on my knife handle for a moment, picked 
up quite a large stone that lay within my 
reach, and, taking careful aim — it is not 
easy to throw accurately from a prone 
position, as any baseball player will tell 
you — I threw the stone among a clump of 
bushes that lay behind the further guard. 

They heard the rustling in the bushes 
that it produced, and were interested at 
once, as I had expected. They looked at 
the bushes speculatively for an instant. 
“What was that?” said the first guard. 
“Jc nc sais pas” answered the other. 
“I don’t know.” 

Both started over to the bush to ex- 
amine it, and at that instant I was up like 
a shot and speeding to the great gate. I 
was silent, but they heard me, and whirled 
instantly, leaping in my direction. They 
were both together, and with one sweep 
of my hand I let them have the pepper 
in their eyes. 

With a cry of pain that went up 
simultaneously from both their throats, 
they stopped in their tracks for an in- 
stant, their hands going up to their eyes. 

I dashed at the gate and threw my 
weight against it, expecting at the next 
instant to be out on the public road, run- 
ning desperately and swiftly from this 
place. 

The gate did not budge ! 

How could this be? I knew the gate 
was opened. What had gone wrong? I 


pushed it desperately again — and again it 
did not budge, and instantly there flashed 
through my mind the explanation. I 
cursed myself for a stupid fool in that 
moment. The gate opened inward, not 
outward — and neglecting to figure this out 
beforehand was the one thing that I over- 
looked in my daring and well laid plan. 

I leaped at the handle of the great gate 
and began to swing it inward, but it was 
too late. The guards, in that instant, had 
recovered and were able to get to me, and 
I was borne to the ground, struggling and 
cursing and fighting, and straining to get 
my knife into play. 

There was a shout from the direction of 
the house. We had been seen, and in an 
instant four more guards were added to 
the rapidly shifting melee in front of the 
gate. 

T HERE is no need to tell you more of 
that fight, except that I did not give 
in until I had been knocked unconscious. 
When I awoke I was in a cell — a smaller 
and lonelier one than I had been accus- 
tomed to occupying. There was no out- 
side window, no sunlight, no air except 
what seeped in from the corridor through 
the little barred window, not more than 
six inches across, that was in my door — 
and, I was in a strait-jacket. 

I cursed my stupidity for so blocking 
my own escape by a piece of ignorance 
that a schoolboy would have avoided. Not 
to know that the door opened inward in- 
stead of outward! One would have thought 
that that would have been the first thing 
I would examine into. 

However, here I was in this solitary 
and hopeless cell, in a strait- jacket, and all 
my mourning and all my cursing were of 
no avail. 

Of the interview with Doctor Marceau 
I shall not tell you. It is just about what 
you are imagining it would have been. I 
shall tell you simply this: 

For sixteen months I lay in that mean, 
closed-off cell, in a living death, as much 
out of the world as though I were in a 
cemetery, under the sod. 

When I was finally released from this 
cell I was a different man, embittered, 
tired, aged far beyond my years, and with 
one desire only in my mind — the mad de- 
sire for vengeance. 

No news from the outside world, of 
course, and no news of the progress of 
the war. It might be over by now, for 
all I knew, yet I did not think so. I lay 
there, tortured with these thoughts, and 
worse — by my thoughts of Carmelita 
Perez, who had nearly been mine, and 
who now undoubtedly belonged to some- 
one else. 

But had she ever really almost been 
mine? Of that I could not be sure, but I 
was almost certain it was not so. Her 
association with Duval was more and 
more in my mind, strangely enough. 
There had been something about it that 
had been unexplained, something that I 
had sensed, some intimacy between them 
that I did not fully get hold of. She had 
used my love for her as a means for get- 
ting what she had wanted, and probably 
even at this moment she and Duval were 
laughing at what a dupe I had been. My 
blood would run hot at the thought, and 
I was capable of any deed then. 

When I was released from my cell, and 



True D etetcive Mysteries 


71 


little by little began to mix again with 
the other patients. But I was still kept 
under very rigid guard, and I saw that 
escape, under these circumstances, would 
be quite impossible. The war, I found im- 
mediately, was raging with greater fury 
than before. The mountains of dead were 
piling up, the toll taken by my poison gas, 
appalling. By now, I found, the French 
and the Allies had perfected a gas of their 
own that was quite as good, and they were 
using it to good effect, but I could not get 
out of my mind the vision of those poor 
boys, dead in their tracks ; their lonely 
graves and their heart-broken women- 
folks at home. I was responsible for 
that ! 

Well, I had paid for it, and I was still 
paying, but there were others who had 
still to pay. There were others who had 
probably made a fortune on the deadly 
secret, who were living, no doubt, on the 
fat of the land, on money earned with the 
innocent blood and tears of young man- 
hood. These others had not yet paid, 
and I determined that they should pay — 
the seven of them. 

I ^HIS was the one idea that developed in 
my mind during that fearful incarcera- 
tion in the asylum, the one fixed idea that 
kept staying with me at a time when all else 
inside of me and outside of me was chang- 
ing. They had to pay. They had played 
with my life and with my heart, brutally 
and heartlessly. More than that ! They 
had made light of the heart of the world 
and enriched themselves at the cost of the 
blood and the pain of others. They had 
been traitorous to the country that had 
afforded them a home and a protection, 
and they had betrayed that country as they 
had betrayed me. They were snakes, and 
they had to be wiped out with no more 
compunction than one would kill a snake. 
It was not enough to say that the damage 
had already been done — that killing these 
people, this Seven, would do no good. One 
does not say that of a rattlesnake after 
he has struck. One kills him without hesi- 
tation. 

This gang was far more dangerous than 
any rattlesnake, and far more deserving 
of the fate of extinction. A rattlesnake 
kills only when angered, or in self-de- 
fense ; he never kills without warning. 
These scoundrels gave no warning, and 
did not kill in self-defense. They killed 
for gain, and they counted their victims 
by the million. The damage had been 
done, but this gang was dangerous to the 
world, and had to be exterminated. Each 
one of them was a treacherous villain, and 
I resolved that it would not matter to me 
what their way of life was now; they 
were always dangerous and at all times 
liable to turn murderous. 

Such was my line of reasoning during 
the time I spent at the asylum of Dr. 
Marceau, and that period lasted until 
the very end of the war — four years in all. 

Four years ! Can you imagine what 
that was — how that time dragged, second 
by second and minute by minute, until 
somehow the night came and, at last tired 
out, I could sleep and forget for a few 
brief hours that I, a sane man, was kept 
prisoner among the insane? Does it ap- 
pear so strange to you that I should have 
been capable of that which I did? Ah! 


It Seemed So Strange 
to Hear Her Play 


We Knew She Had Never Taken 
a Lesson From a Teacher ! 

W E always thought of her as an 
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attraction in any gathering. 

That night of the party when she 
said, “Well folks, I’ll entertain you 
with some selections from Grieg” 

— we thought she was joking. But she 
actually did get up and seat herself at 
the piano. 

Everyone laughed. I was sorry for 
her. But suddenly the room was 
hushed. . . . 

She played Anilra's Dance — played it 
with such soul fire that everyone swayed 
forward, tense, listening. When the last 
glorious cord vanished like an echo, we 
were astonished — and contrite. We surged 
forward to congratulate her. “How did 
you do it?” “We can’t believe you 
never had a teacher.” An onlooker no 
longer — she was popular ! 

She Told Me About It Later 

We were life-long friends, and I felt I 
could ask her about it. “You played 
superbly!” I said. “And I 
know you never had a 
teacher. Come — what’s the 
secret?” 

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True D etective Mysteries 

it is indeed true that he jests at scars who 
never felt a wound ! 

F OUR years! Four years out of my 
life that no one can ever give back 
to me — four years of hell, four years of 
thinking of Carmelita Perez and of the 
play of the sunlight on her hair and the 
moonlight in her eyes ; of the smile on her 
lovely lips — her lying, treacherous lips 
that could kiss my life away with never 
a qualm, or the quiver of a muscle. Four 
years of being locked up in this hell, 
while outside the world descended almost 
into its original blackness, and the flower 
of all nations was dying in the dirt and 
the mud of Flanders. And back home 
babies were dying of starvation and 
mothers dying of grief. Four years of 
slaughter with a poison gas that I had in- 
vented and that gave its victims no single 
chance. Even if they • temporarily re- 
covered from it, they went home to die 
of the dreaded white plague. And this 
pestilence and death had been released 
upon the world by Carmelita Perez and 
the gang that had duped me and that 
was paying for my detention here. 

Can you still wonder at my state of 
mind and my actions? Perhaps I became 
a monomaniac on the subject, but I doubt 
that. My reaction is a perfectly logical 
one, and any human being with a drop of 
real blood in him would have acted the 
same way. The only trouble is that, not 
having gone through what I have gone 
through, it is impossible for anybody else 
to appreciate or recognize that fact. This, 
however, docs not matter to me. It is 
enough that I understand it, and that I 
have unburdened my soul here in trying 
to make it clear. 

Let it be enough to say that the war was 
already over when I emerged. A few 
months before, Doctor Marceau had been 
called into the service, and he was killed 
almost within a month of his joining the 
colors. So much for him. He was a 
scoundrel, I am sure, yet sometimes I feel 
that there might be a slight doubt about 
that. Anyway, he died for France, so 
let that go. Another doctor was put in 
charge of the asylum to whom I applied 
for release. He examined into the case, 
and kept me for several months, to de- 
termine my sanity by actual tests. He 
finally determined that I was sane. The 
payments to the asylum on my behalf seem 
to have ceased some months before, and I 
was released. 

There I was, sent out into the world, 
blinking at affairs the way you would 
blink if you were pushed out into the sun 
after being for hours in a dark room. 
It was a different world, after the Great 
War, than I had been accustomed to. I 
had been accustomed to a mellow world 
that will now no longer return, I think. 
At least, not in our time. 

I T was a world of thanksgiving that it 
had been saved, a world of victory and 
paeans of victory, a world of widows and 
orphans and destitute mothers. The after- 
math of a warfare that had been largely 
a chemical warfare, a warfare that had 
been initiated by me. You may think I 
lay too much emphasis on that, that there 
would have been a chemical warfare even 
if I had not discovered a fatal gas, but I 
don’t think that is so. It is true that the 


gas warfare would have happened, but I 
don’t think it would have been so effective. 
In fact, I know it would not. 

The world would indeed have been 
better off if I had died that time in my 
studio, when I had accidentally breathed 
the fumes of the terrible poison I had 
unwittingly brewed. However, that’s a 
long time ago, and much blood has flowed 
since then, so we will say no more about it. 

Let it be enough to say that I was out. 

I made a report to the authorities to get 
some kind of a report from them on the 
matter soon — perhaps in two or three 
years. Well, let them find me, if they 
could. 

The teller of my bank remembered me 
very well indeed, and took it for granted 
that I had been away in the war. I did 
not disillusion him, for I had plans that 
made secrecy a necessity. I saw that 
there was nothing to hope for in the way 
of vengeance, or even justice, from the au- 
thorities. And from now on, vengeance 
was what I lived for. Condemn me, if 
you wish. It matters no longer to me. 
There is a peace in my soul that I am cer- 
tain none of you can understand. 

My money was intact, and, by lying 
idle, had even increased to an appreciable 
extent. I took a very fortunate precau- 
tion at that time, a precaution for which 
I have been thankful ever since. The 
franc, I noticed, was a bit unstable, and 
nobody knew what was going to happen 
to it. The dollar, as usual, was the money 
standard of the world, unchangeable and 
always valuable. I took my money out 
of the bank, changed it into dollars, and 
deposited it in the Paris branch of an 
American bank. Some time later, as you 
know, the franc’s value began to drop ter- 
rifically, and had I left my money in 
francs, I would have been worth about 
one-seventh of the original amount. But 
this is history, and has no real place in this 
story, except to show you that I knew very 
well what I was doing. 

1 ALSO visited some hospitals. Some 
morbid curiosity drew me. I was sorry 
I had. One American hospital had fifteen 
hundred patients in it. I was conducted 
through by an intern. 

“These are all gas patients,” he said. 

My heart sank within me as I stood in 
the doorway of one of the tremendous 
wards, gazing at the row upon row of 
patients; young boys who had been vibrant 
with life and action, beautiful young men, 
the flower of our land. Fully half of them 
had their eyes bandaged. I turned in in- 
quiry to my guide. 

“Blind,” he said. “Most of them will 
never see again. A vicious gas.” I was 
silent. 

“Most of them have tuberculosis, too,” 
he volunteered. “At least fifty per cent, 
of them can never recover . . . and those 
who do will never quite get over it. This 
is nothing,” he said. “You ought to see 
the French hospitals. And most of them 
died, you know.” 

A vicious gas. Ah, it was all of that! 
Who should know better than I ? Can you 
wonder at the resolve that remained crys- 
tallized in me? The resolve to wreak the 
vengeance, not only of myself but of an 
outraged world, upon these serpents who 
had no right to remain among the living 
when so many hundreds of thousands of 


True Detective Mysteries 


73 


their victims were dead and worse than 
dead? 

I went back to Enghien-les- Bains, where 
I had first made the acquaintance of 
Carmelita Perez, who had so strangely 
affected my life, and her gang. I 
found a different Enghien. The Casino 
was closed, and with it the life 
of the town had gone. Most of the resi- 
dents who could do so, had moved away. 
The town was now an empty shell. A 
great many had died in the war. The 
streets, like the streets of every town in 
France, were filled with young cripples 
and women in mourning, and France is 
still that way to-day, eight years and more 
after the signing of the Armistice. 

Of Carmelita Perez, her father, and the 
rest of the gang, I was for the time able 
to find no trace. They had disappeared 
from Enghien as though they had never 
been there. They might just as well never 
have existed, for all the news I could get 
of them. One or two people in the town 
remembered the Perez establishment. It 
had been destroyed by fire in the first year 
of the war — fire that had been started by 
a long-range German shell aimed at Paris, 
which had missed its mark. But no one 
had been in the house, my informant told 
me. They seemed to have gone a long 
time before. 

I will not tell you of my search in 
France, for it was a long one. For a 
year I roamed the cities and the villages 
of France, on the chance that somewhere 
I would pick up the one thread that was 
necessary for me to have in order to un- 
ravel the puzzle. But it was a year before 
I came upon anything tangible. It was in 
Marseilles, that famous fishing and sea- 
port city on the south coast of France. 

I WAS sitting in front of a small cafe, 
at a table on the sidewalk, as is the 
charming custom in France, and drinking 
an after-lunch glass of coffee. Suddenly an 
elderly woman went by, with the inevitable 
French, black market basket, from which 
stuck out about a yard and a half of 
bread. The woman was the ordinary 
French bonne , or servant, but to me she 
was something more than that. She was 
the woman who had been a servant in the 
house of Carmelita Perez when I fre- 
quented it. I jumped up with a shout. 

“ Alorsl ” I shouted at her, and she 
stopped and looked in my direction. 
There was an instant recognition, and she 
almost dropped her sacred bread in her 
astonishment. 

“Why, it’s Mousieur Roulette !” she 
gasped. 

I drew her out of the passing throng, 
and asked her to sit down with me at 
the table, which she did. It was not dif- 
ficult to get from her the information that 
I needed. She had always been friendly 
to me, and had always distrusted the gang. 

It appeared that several days after I had 
become incarcerated in my living hell, the 
Perezes had moved, bag and baggage. She 
had heard much talk about passports, and 
they had packed as though for sailing. 
From the talk she had gathered that they 
were all going — seven of them. They had 
gone, and she had never seen them again, 
or heard of them. But that was enough to 
give me a clue. 

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True Detective Mysteries 

of the large ports, Havre, Cherbourg, or 
Boulogne. 

In this direction my search occupied me 
another six weeks. I searched steamship 
sailings of the month before the war, pas- 
senger lists, passport records, and other 
data, and at last I had what I wanted. 

On the La P crons e, W’hich had sailed 
one week before the opening of the war, 
from Havre to New York, were Perez, 
Carmelita, and the other five. So that was 
that. I saw what I had to do. 

In two weeks I was in New York. 

It is not necessary to go into all the de- 
tails of how I got on the track of this 
gang in America, I think. Suffice it to say 
that they had separated and covered their 
tracks marvelously. It took me three 
years to place every one of them, for they 
were all living apart — most of them in dif- 
ferent cities. During the first month or 
two I managed to locate two of the gang, 
but I wanted them all at the same time. I 
wanted to dispose of them all for good, at 
one time, and clean it off the slate. 

Well, I managed it. They had scattered 
for safety, I found out later, as they had 
all been made independently wealthy by 
the sale of the fatal gas which I had been 
unfortunate enough to discover. Even 
Carmelita and her father were no longer 
living together. He was the head of a 
large business. 

F INALLY I had them all placed, and I 
knew my time was ripe. I had, in a toy 
shop, picked up seven small roulette wheels. 
One of these was found near the body of 
each — my “victims,” as the papers per- 
sisted in calling them. 

So I went about my work of vengeance. 
The details I shall not tell you, for they 
have been sufficiently cited in the papers, 
to say nothing of the fact that I have gone 
into them in some detail in the first instal- 
ment of this tale. 

Let it be enough to say that Carmelita 
was the last one upon whom I wreaked 
my vengeance. 

It was not easy to compose myself to 
dealing thus summarily with Carmelita, 
for treacherous and faithless as she had 
been, I still loved her, although I knew she 
was not for such as me. It is curious, is 
it not, that remembrance can be more 
vivid, more real than an actual presence or 
occurrence? — that a single peal of laughter 
remembered from the past can stand out 
more than a burst of laughter from a girl 
before me now? Yet this is so. I find 
that as the years go by, Carmelita grows 
more and more real to me and the others 
recede more and more in the shadows — 
so deep an impression had she made upon 
me. 

This was the woman I was to kill. 

Let me not annoy you with the details 
and the preliminary preparations. Suffice 
it to say that she expected it, as all who 
had been the victims of my vengeance had 
expected it, and when I appeared suddenly 
from between the portieres of her draw- 
ing-room and stood, pale as death before 
her, she looked up from where she sat 
by the fireplace, a half smile on her temp- 
ting lips, which were more beautiful than 
I had remembered them, and said: 

“You are here, Roulette? I expected 
you before this.” 

I nodded. “I was delayed," I said 
quietly. “It is not too late.” 


She looked at me a little uncertainly. 

“I am alone,” she said quietly. 

“I arranged for that,” I replied. 

“You are much stronger than I. You 
are a man and I am a weak, frail woman.” 

I laughed harshly and my hard bitter 
laughter reverberated in the far reaches 
of the large chamber. 

“You have always been a frail, weak 
woman for me, Carmelita,” I said. “You 
were that even when you wormed from 
me the terrible secret which made you and 
your gang rich, which brought death to 
the flower of our youth— even when you 
promised to marry me and instead, tricked 
me into entering an insane asylum where 
I spent four long, hideous years of my 
young manhood. Even ” 

“Sit down here by me, Roulette,” broke 
in Carmelita, with that flashing smile of 
hers that could still turn my head. “There 
is time. You need not hurry — not for a 
few minutes, anyway. I have longed for 
you, Roulette/’ The black, mysterious 
eyes looked up at me and I felt myself 
falling into them — falling — falling . . . 
slowly at first and then swiftly and more 
swiftly, as one falls in the night in a 
dream. 

I brought myself up with a jolt. I knew 
the folly of this and shook my head de- 
cidedly to clear out the mist that seemed 
to have seeped itself into my brain. 

“Ricn d fairc,” I said in an unsteady 
voice, lapsing into a language which was 
common to both of us. “There is noth- 
ing doing; I have done that before.” 

“Ah, but Roulette. . . She had risen 
and was standing at my side, her hand 
light as a petal upon my arm, and the 
perfume of her being overwhelming me 
once more. 

“DOULETTE,” she said softly, “I 

JT\ have longed for you — waited for 
you so long. I know this will be difficult 
for you to believe, but you will never know 
or understand how I have cursed my 
moment of treachery to you and wished 
with my whole being for your presence 
and your embrace.” She looked up into 
my face and I was once more stabbed 
through and through with my old love for 
her. 

“Kiss me, Roulette,” she whispered, her 
face upturned, her eyes partly closed, her 
long lashes lying somberly and darkly on 
the velvet texture of her cheek and mak- 
ing deep purple shadows beneath them. 

My arms went around her and I was 
lost in a bottomless void in which nothing 
mattered except the present moments of 
mysterious bliss. 

I released her finally, shaking like a reed 
in the north wind, with the intensity of my 
emotion. So, this was to be the end of it, 
and I went back to where I had started 
from with her — back to the time when I 
was her slave and her fool, when she 
tempted me as a beautiful woman has al- 
ways been able to tempt a foolish and 
stubborn man. 

Ah. well, I said to myself. It makes no 
particular difference; she loves me after 
all. Perhaps I was mistaken ; perhaps 
we can take up life where we left it off 
and wipe out the mistake of the past in a 
flood of happiness instead of a flood of 
tears. 

I lighted a cigarette and shaking with 
excitement, turned away for a moment. 


True Detective Mysteries 


75 


In that instant, through the glass over the 
mantel, I saw a swift change in the face 
of Carmelita, when she thought I could 
not observe her with my back turned. I 
saw something that is given to few human 
beings to see, I saw the real self of a 
woman. She had dropped her mask for 
that instant and I saw the treacherous 
serpent that lay beneath. She was looking 
at my back and her dark eyes seemed to 
be saying: 

“Poor fool, you are once more in my 
clutches ; you were clay in my hands. You 
are a slave still, and I am your master 1 
You are the dust beneath my feet!” 

All this I saw and more, and I saw in 
that instant that she did not love me, that 
she had never loved me, but had always 
used me for her own ends and had tri- 
umphed over me for her own purposes as 
she had always done. I saw the four long 
years I had spent in that hell, while she 
and her gang had lived selfishly in a far 
land with the money I had made — with 
the blood of our countrymen. 

The dust dropped from my eyes in- 
stantly, and I became as cool as ice. 
I was by the window, and with a sweep of 
my hand I tore the portiere cord from off 
its hook. It lay lightly in my hand as I 
gazed into her eyes. A light, silken, dan- 
gerous thing that could choke the beauti- 
ful white throat of a beautiful woman. 

She saw that I knew, for as I whirled 
about she met my eyes. In that instant I 
believe Carmelita saw that nothing on this 
earth could save her. The color was 
drawn from her face as she shrank back 


from me. Her eyes were wide but still 
defiant. Not a sound came from her. 

I approached her and . . . 

Two minutes later I turned from her 
lifeless form — my work finished. She lay 
on her couch, her pale, silent face at rest 
as if she were sleeping, her eyes closed, 
her purple lashes shadowing her cheek. 

My eyes were wet with tears. I bent 
down and imprinted a kiss on her already 
cold brow, and without a backward glance 
I was gone. 

T HAT is my story, reader. You have 
it now in full. I have made no attempt 
to gloss over anything that I have done. 
You may judge me now if you will, if 
you are able to judge me as you would 
judge an ordinary man who had done or- 
dinary things. I think I will justify it, 
and I believe that the thoughtful among 
you will agree with me. 

I intend to go into no long defense of 
myself. Let the facts speak for them- 
selves. That which I have done, I have 
done. If I was wrong, rest assured that 
at one time or another, I shall pay for it 
all, finally. At the present I am calm and 
peaceful. I have gone back into the set- 
tled, ordinary way of living. I live reg- 
ularly and work at my experiments, and I 
have a small circle of good friends who 
do not know that once I was called Rou- 
lette. My conscience is clear, I eat well 
and I sleep well, and if some time it hap- 
pens that I am called upon to account for 
what I have done, I expect to do that 
simply and fearlessly. 

Let that be all. I have done. 


Did the Camera Lie? 

(Continued from page 35) 


My blood-pressure went up. My heart 
put in a couple of extra beats and I 
swallowed to keep from asking him to re- 
peat it. That was real “info.” 

I LOOKED at Burnett for the first time 
since our drinks. He was looking at 
me. Two beer bottle caps had been 
found near the body and he had made 
some remark about broken glass the day 
before. 

That was as far as I dared go. So we 
thanked him and left. 

In our minds Mr. Gellert was connected 
very closely with the Sycamore Park 
murder. Close enough to warrant action. 

It lacked two hours of being noon, but 
we had to act quickly if we were to get 
the story in the paper. I went into the 
barber shop and, on the pretense of try- 
ing to sell him insurance, made his ac- 
quaintance. Then I pointed him out to 
Burnett, who stood across the street while 
I went to the office. 

I told Matson what we had learned. 
Then he and I went to the office of my 
friend, Ford Harvey, detective attached 
to the prosecuting attorney’s office, and 
told him the story. He went back with 
us. 

The stage was set for an exclusive story 
— how big, I had no idea. The most I 
dared hope for was that Gellert knew 
something which had not been told, al- 
though I had a hunch there was a lot more 
up the alley into which I had stumbled so 


blindly. Reason told me we were right, 
but, try as I would, I could not allay the 
fear that we were not. 

When we met Burnett, he told us Gel- 
lert had just returned from lunch, and that 
he had followed the barber into the cafe, 
heard him order a sandwich and a cup of 
coffee, saw him push the sandwich aside 
and drink three cups of coffee. He said 
the man then went two blocks farther 
down the street to a drug-store, said some- 
thing to the proprietor and waited about 
five minutes while the druggist was in the 
rear of the store, returned and handed 
Gellert a package which he put in his in- 
side coat pocket. 

It seemed to me that my suspicions of 
something more than mere connection be- 
tween Gellert and that unfortunate 
woman were being verified. Men can not 
exist on coffee and bad booze unless there 
is something weighing heavily on their 
minds. I had intended to find out, if I 
could, who Gellert had seen that day in 
Sycamore Park, for I was sure he had 
been there, but I changed my plan as 
the four of us stepped into the shop. 

“Gellert,” T said, “we want to see your 
wife. Where is she?” 

“She went to Denver, Sunday,” he said. 
“I took her to the train myself.” 

W HATEVER suspicion I had had 
crystallized the moment he an- 
swered that question. The instinctive 



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alibi he had built for himself convinced 
me he was guilty. 

“I took her to the train myself,” he had 
said before we had ask^d him a single 
question. To me, it was a big story in 
few words. 

“Are you sure of that, Gellert?” I 
snapped back. 

“Yes,” he replied. But it was far from 
convincing. 

Harvey then saw what I was driving at. 

“You didn’t go out to Sycamore Park, 
did you?” he asked. 

“No!” He a'most shouted it. 

“You’re certain, Gellert?” Harvey shot 
at him. “Better take a minute to think 
it over.” 

In the silence which followed I could 
see great beads of perspiration come out 
on his forehead. 

“I took her to the train, I told you,” he 
barked at us. 

Burnett had grown restless and was 
looking over the shop. A seat locker, such 
as is used for storing linens, caught his 
eye. He walked over and lifted the lid. 
Gellert stared at him, his face the color 
of a death mask. 

Burnett gave a quick look, then his 
hand dived into the locker as he called 
me. He threw out a handful of spare 
towels, then in went his hand again. 

Gellert gave a frightened look toward 
the door and Harvey stepped in front of 
him. 

This time Burnett brought up some- 
thing that glittered. It was a gold watch 
— a woman’s watch — with a broken chain, 
identical with the piece found with the 
body. 

He handed it to me and went back a 
third time. 

“Ever see this, Gellert?” I asked, with 
a mocking grin on my face. 

“No. no!” he chattered. “I don’t know 
how it got there.” 


“What are you shaking for?” cut in 
Matson. 

“I’m not sh-sh-shaking,” he stammered. 
I looked over at Burnett. He was hold- 
ing a roll of films, as if undecided what 
to do with them. 

“Put ’em in your pocket and bring ’em 
along,” Harvey, who also had noticed his 
indecision, ordered. 

S O Harvey and Burnett took films, 
watch, chain — and Gellert, whimper- 
ing and protesting — to the county at- 
torney’s office, while Matson and I beat it 
to the office to write the story — a clean 
scoop. 

The identification bureau developed the 
films which proved the last link connect- 
ing Gellert with the brutal murder of his 
wife. 

Five of the roll of six films were pic- 
tures of scenery around Sycamore Park — 
snaps the murdered woman had taken the 
day of her death. 

It was the sixth, the picture of a young 
woman, which echoed the voice from the 
dead. It proved the key to the mystery. 

Gellert’s little daughter, Jane, fur- 
nished the clue which enabled us to locate 
the young woman and identify her. When 
questioned, she said Gellert had promised 
to marry her as soon as he could get a 
divorce. 

Also, from the child, we learned that the 
mother had had a premonition of her im- 
pending death. 

“If I don’t come home, Jane,” she said 
her mother had told her, “you will know 
that Papa has killed me.” 

The story was just another of the silent 
and accusing voice of the dead, leading 
the law unerringly to the guilty, but Gel- 
lert was never tried. Two days after his 
arrest his mind snapped, and seven months 
later he died in the insane asylum. 

Did the camera lie? It didn’t. Cameras 
never do lie. 


The Man With Four Legs 

( Continued from page 56) 


“I said ‘dare.* Why ? Because I’m 
confident if you search hard enough you’ll 
find the one who planned this theft was 
Chester Brewster, the young pup whom I 
ordered to keep away from my daughter 
and my house. He took advantage of her 

inexperience and my absence to ” 

“Just a minute, Mr. Howland. You can’t 
mean what you say. Brewster has been 
wild. But to turn deliberately crooked, 
to scheme with a professional criminal — 
and such a brutal yegg — to rob a woman 

in his own social set ” 

“He’s not in our set. Neither is his 
family. They’re no good; except his 
mother. Look at his father. The presi- 
dent of a bonding company that specializes 
in bonding crooks. Don’t class me with 
him. I’m a banker, president of one in- 
stitution and director in half a dozen oth- 
ers. I try to keep money from his clients. 
No wonder his son is what he is.” 
Howland’s rage appeared to choke him 
for a moment, and while he mopped the 
perspiration from his forehead, I recalled 
something I should have thought of be- 
fore. Howland and Brewster were of op- 
posite political faiths. Years before 


Brewster had defeated the banker for 
Congress. Evidently the bad blood be- 
tween them had continued. I wondered 
how the children of two such enemies had 
learned to take such an interest in each 
other. 

“I’ve had Chester watched,” Howland 
resumed. “I wanted to learn the truth 
about him so that I could tell my daughter. 
Too bad I didn’t do it. He has spent every 
cent he inherited from his grandfather; 
squandered it. You can guess how. His 
father had to get him out of town. He’s 
been gambling with the small allowance 
sent him ever since he’s been in college. 
I tell you the story of his stock killing is 
a lie. Your investigation will prove I’m 
right. He’s been desperately hard up. He 
planned these robberies of his friends. 
Think it over. He admits he was in this 
city the last three Saturday nights. There 
was a robbery on each of them, of persons 
he knew well. He coaxed my daughter 
to wear most of her jewels, her mother’s 
necklace in particular. Well, I guess I’ve 
talked enough. Anyway, now you know 
what’s what. Good night. You can see 
me in the morning if you care to.” 


77 


I left the house with my brain buzz- 
ing. Despite Howlands statements, I 
could not believe young Brewster was a 
crook. His type might turn embezzler or 
forger, but to work deliberately with stick- 
up men, thereby placing himself open to 
blackmail for the remainder of his life 
— hardly ! Duty, however, compelled me 
to investigate him. If it turned out that 
Howland was right, up-river he’d go. 

“The young fellow’s inside. Said he’d 
wait for you,” was the amazing statement 
of my driver, Concealing my surprise, I 
took my seat beside Brewster and ordered 
the chauffeur to drive slowly to Head- 
quarters. 

“I’ll ride a few blocks with you. It’s 
important I should tell you something at 
once.” 

“Shoot.” 

“I don’t know what Howland told you, 
but it’s a cinch he painted me pretty black. 
You know I’ve made a lot of bad breaks. 
To-night’s experience has cured me. From 
now on it’s the straight and narrow for 
me, and that goes. I lied about that stock 
deal because I thought it would make it 
easier for Norma.” 

His statement gave me an uneasy feel- 
ing. Was Howland right after all? 

“Here’s the straight of it, Mr. Martin. 

I did make a clean-up on a friend’s tip. 
He phoned it to me just before leaving 
for Europe on his honeymoon. That means 
I can’t prove the statement until he re- 
turns. Then I played the races, tele- 
phoning to bookies I know here. I cashed 
in big. Of course I can’t prove that 
either. I don’t know what you’re think- 
ing or what Howland said, but I’m going 
to stick around and I’ll do anything you 
say to help. I’m not going home, though. 
Since I came here I’ve been living with 
Billy Van Alstyne at the Aldire — you 
know’, the bachelor apartments facing Cen- 
tral Park. I’ll remain there until you say 
different. If you haven’t any question, I’ll 
get out.” 

I was anxious to get rid of him so that 
I might think. But before he left me I 
gave him my home telephone number, di- 
recting that he call me there or at Head- 
quarters if he learned anything. I found 
Brady waiting for me and reported, dow*n 
to the smallest detail; then asked him to 
allow' me to go home and think over the 
case for the remainder of the night be- 
fore we discussed deductions or plans. 
With his permission I sent tw f o men im- 
mediately to the Aldire to learn if and how 
long Brewster had been there, and to trail 
him if he left the place. 

“ T UST one question. Inspector, and I’m 
J off. Brewster and his girl were at the 
Black Pigeon three nights running. Do 
you know’ if the Graysons were at the 
Little Cottage and the Barnes-Morrisons 
were at the Fireside more than once in the 
weeks they were robbed?” 

“Yes. They were accustomed to go there 
frequently. They w f ere in the places three 
or four nights in the w’eeks before the 
Saturday stick-ups.” 

“Think this over before I see you to- 
morrow'. All these women flashed dia- 
monds. This yegg, watching from the out- 
side, could have spotted his victims one 
night, trailed them, and learned where they 
lived the next. Then, learning their habit 
of going directly home, could have watched 


True Detective Mysteries 

them leave, beat them getting there in a 
taxicab— probably driven by a confederate 
and kept handy for the getaway — and been 
in the vestibules ready to receive them. 
That’s my guess. I never believed a pro- 
fessional crook could get inside those 
places. There’s one weak spot, however. 
A known criminal, naturally, w’ould have 
been afraid to hang around these clubs. 
The police might tumble to him. But he 
could have had a spotter who wasn’t 
known.” 

“Brewster could have gotten into any of 
them.” 

“Yes Wait! I’ll settle that matter 

now.” 

I knew’ the managers of all the night 
clubs whose guests had been robbed. Those 
at the Little Cottage and Fireside w’ere 
positive, when I phoned, that young Brew- 
ster hadn’t been in their places for months. 
The manager of the Black Pigeon said he 
had been there the three nights he had 
stated. 

I reported my information to Brady. 

“That helps his case,” he said, “but ” 

“If he’s guilty,” I interrupted, “I’ll get 
him. But no matter what Howland said 
or how f desperate Chester was for money, 

I can’t help thinking those jobs were the 
work of experienced professionals. I use 
the plural because the scheme has worked 
so smoothly that it required more than 
one to pull it off.” 

On my w r ay home I smoked and tried 
to push the case from my mind briefly. 

I realized Brady was depending upon me 
as never before, that he counted on me to 
make good on my nickname, “Camera Eye.” 
By the time I reached my quarters, had 
drunk two cups of black coffee and settled 
in an easy chair with my big record book 
in my lap, my brain was clear and ready 
for some real concentration. 

Going over the names listed in the index 
as having taken part in stick-up cases in 
the last five years, I noted on a slip bf 
paper those in which women had been 
robbed and assaulted. None, as I recalled, 
fitted the description of my quarry until 

S UDDENLY I whistled and put aside 
my cigar. I had reached the name of 
“Joe the Gent” Kilmer. His description 
tallied with that of the unknown thief, and 
he was a brute w’ith women. I grinned, 
believing I had a real lead. He was under 
thirty, had been a lightweight prize-fighter, 
next a dope peddler, then a sneak-thief. 
He had been feared in the underworld be- 
cause he never hesitated to fight with gun, 
knife or fists. He had been arrested many 
times, but shrewd lawyers and pull had 
kept him from getting long stretches. His 
last crime, before he disappeared from 
New York three years back, had been an 
attempted apartment robbery. A maid had 
caught him at work and screamed, and he 
had given her a terrible beating before 
escaping. Also, he had abused many women 
who had lived with him. Could it be that 
Kilmer had slipped back to New York 
and was the crook I must uncover? 

I never had known w’hether his sobriquet, 
“the Gent,” was bestowed upon him in a 
spirit of irony because of his brutality 
toward women, or because of his habitual 
fashionable attire. He was the type who 
would wear a ring, even “on business.” 
There w r as one means of identifying Kilmer 
w’hich his victims had overlooked. I’d 



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question them concerning it in the morning. 

The telephone bell at my elbow rang. 
Guessing it was Headquarters, I snatched 
the receiver. “Yes?” 

“That you, Mr. Martin?” 

“Yes.” 

“This is Chester Brewster. Sorry to 
trouble you, but I’ve thought of something 
important. First, you needn’t have had me 
watched. The all-night man here tipped 
me, after your detectives had questioned 
him. The help in these places are pretty 
faithful to the tenants. Don’t be sore” — 
he had caught my muttered oath — “I just 
want you to understand I’m playing square. 
Here’s the important thing. Sorry I didn’t 
think of it before. The man who attacked 
us, I believe, is left-handed.” 

“What ? You’re certain ?” 

“When I had time to think it over, 1 
remembered the revolver he pressed against 
me was in his left hand. He struck Miss 
Howland and snatched the necklace with 
his right. I don’t believe anybody would 
attempt to use a revolver in his left, unless 
it was his good hand. Maybe I’m wrong. 
Good night.” 

“Thanks. Good night.” 

I THREW up both hands and laughed 
aloud. That was the clue I wanted. Kil- 
mer was left-handed. But I soon quieted 
down a bit. This Brewster was a cool 
customer. It might be that he’d given me 
the tip about the left hand to throw me 
off, for I knew he was right-handed. Any- 
way, he was being watched. I could locate 
him when I wanted him. My first job in 
the morning would be to locate Joe’s where- 
abouts. As I tumbled into bed I recalled 
something else about the crook. He had 
a habit of lighting matches and tapers by 
snapping them with the nails of his thumb 
and finger. I fell asleep realizing the “old 
bean” was working on schedule. 

The new sun and I made our appear- 
ances in the street about the same time 
next day. I made Headquarters hot foot, 
and soon had Joe’s record. In addition to 
the customary official information, there 
were some intimate memoranda. After he 
had skipped from New York, his shady 
lawyer somehow squared matters with the 
woman he’d assaulted, and the indictment 
was quashed. However, more than two 
years back, in Chicago, he’d been arrested 
for beating a woman with whom he had 
been living, and went to a penitentiary. 

Immediately I called up the Windy City 
Police Headquarters. The information I 
received was decidedly interesting. Joe 
had saved a fellow convict from being 
killed in a prison fight. After serving a 
year and a half he had been paroled. In 
the six months he had been at liberty he’d 
been going straight, at least so far as my 
informant knew. He obtained a job selling 
washing machines on commission and 
changed his name to Killifer, with the 
knowledge of the authorities and his em- 
ployer, in an effort to hide his prison past. 
He had reported to the parole officer once 
a month. He was due to report again on 
the eleventh of the following month. Chi- 
cago promised to learn if he had been 
absent from the city. Later I read How- 
land’s reward offer in the newspapers and 
wondered if it would cause the crooks to 
hunt cover for a time. Nothing was 
printed about the assault upon Miss How- 
land. 


I called Chicago again about noon. The 
news caused me a grin of satisfaction. 
When reporting on the eleventh of the 
current month, Joe had obtained permission 
to visit “his ill mother in New Orleans.” 
He had left the city at once and had not 
returned. His accounts with the firm em- 
ploying him were O. K. If my guess as 
to the identity of the slippery yegg was 
correct, he had come to New York instead 
of going South. With the haul he’d made 
he might never return West. Still, he had 
plenty of time to report there on the 
eleventh, and keep his Chicago record clean. 
He had another week to continue 
operations in the metropolis, and do that. 
My guess was he — and his possible con- 
federates — would try to stage at least one 
more big play before things became too 
hot for them. 

After informing Brady of my suspicions 
concerning Kilmer and my belief another 
hold-up would be staged, I arranged to 
remain away from Headquarters until the 
case was finished. The plan we agreed 
upon was for me to fix things with the 
managers of the ultra-fashionable night 
clubs to visit the places when I chose; in 
evening clothes, of course. I counted on 
dropping in on the Little Cottage, Fire- 
place and the Black Pigeon once or twice. 
However, as the police would be watching 
these now. the crooks were likely to give 
them a wide berth. 

M OST of my time would be spent in 
and about the Cafe d’Orleans and the 
Club Victoria, from which no patron had 
so far been robbed, occupied a recon- 
structed residence. They were the acme 
of exclusiveness, admitting only “mem- 
bers,” persons of assured wealth and stand- 
ing. Still, in these, as in the lesser clubs, 
the wives and sweethearts of the members 
were accustomed to displaying their jewels. 
Any couple from either of these places 
would yield a small fortune in a hold-up. 
I figured when the crooks struck again it 
would be against patrons of these places. 
It wasn’t worth the risk to rob any of 
those frequenting the resorts which ad- 
mitted “anybody with the price.” The 
jewels worn by many women at these places 
were phony, and the crooks knew it. 

For two nights I trailed about the five 
clubs mentioned. I failed to note a person 
inside any of them I knew to be off color. 
Besides myself, plain-clothes men watched 
about the club exteriors. Not only were 
there no loiterers about the entrances — 
only the uniformed doormen, starters and 
occasional beggars — but no person was 
located hiding near or apparently watching 
those who came and went. By Tuesday 
night I was beginning to get nervous wait- 
ing for action. I wondered if Howland’s 
reward had frightened my quarry and sent 
them out of town. 

However, I put on my evening clothes 
immediately after dinner — though I liked 
wearing the “soup and fish” as little as 
any other cop — tucked my automatic in a 
holster beneath my left arm, and took to 
the trail. The clubs wouldn’t get started 
until after the theaters, so I strolled about 
on Broadway, the side streets in which the 
better night resorts were located, and near 
the Metropolitan carriage entrance, with 
both eyes open for Joe. Nothing doing. 
Next I headed for the block where were 
both of the clubs in which I was particu- 


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larly interested. The many bright lights, 
particularly those before the Cafe 

d’Orleans and its neighbors, threw into 
strong relief the machines which whizzed 
by and the considerable number of pedes- 
trians, some headed for the gay places, 
others merely strolling. 

Suddenly a well-dressed youth not far 
ahead of me, and alone, swung toward the 
curb, snapped a match into flame with his 
nails, lighted a cigarette, then moved along. 

1 caught the gesture. Also that he used 
his left hand. To say I was jolted, is put- 
ting it mildly. I moved up on my man. 
As I recalled Kilmer, this man’s height, 
build and carriage were identical with his. 

I must see his face and his fingers. But 
he mustn’t see me. If Joe, he would recog- 
nize me despite my unaccustomed garb, 
dancing neither to the right or left, he 
reached the corner, then paused and looked 
into a shop-window. Keeping others be- 
tween us, I passed and got a flash at his 
face. My heart gave a jump. He was 
Kilmer or his double. 

I TURN ED quickly, but stepped behind 
a great iron electric-light post which 
partly concealed me. My man dropped his 
cigarette stub, took another from a case and 
snapped a taper with the nails of his left 
hand. I noted something else, however. 
On the little finger of the right hand which 
held the case was a seal ring. Right then 
I felt my case was as good as proved. But 
I wanted to do more than arrest him ! I 
wanted to capture his confederates. To 
me the fact that he still was in New York 
indicated he intended trying at least one 
more stick-up. I expected to be in on that. 
Pushing my arm against my gun to satisfy 
myself it still was in place, I fell in behind 
him again as he turned and made his way 
back toward the avenue. 

As we neared the entrance to the Cafe 
d’Orleans, I noted none before it except 
the uniformed doorman at the curb, and a 
badly deformed cripple, huddled close to 
the wall near the entrance, a tin cup sus- 
pended from a bit of string around his 
neck. I probably would not have given him 
a second notice had not Joe, after a quick 
glance about, stepped close and fumbled 
for a coin to drop in the cup. As he did 
so the two exchanged a few hurried words, 
then Kilmer resumed his walk, with me 
trailing. I wondered if I had stumbled 
upon something significant. 

Without hurrying, he circled the block 
and. as he passed the club, again paused 
before the beggar and talked with him. 
Instantly I crossed the street, dodging be- 
hind machines that Kilmer might not note 
me. For right there I believed I had hit 
upon the explanation of the puzzling case. 
The cripple was Joe’s lookout. He, better 
than any other type of person, could remain 
at the club entrances without exciting sus- 
picion, and could determine those who could 
be robbed with greatest profit. I attempted 
to keep track of Kilmer, but a collision of 
taxicabs at the corner drew a sudden crowd 
and I lost him in the crush. 

Doubling back, I took a good look at the 
cripple. He was a big fellow with power- 
ful shoulders and massive hands. A mass 
of rumpled black hair, heavy lips and 
piercing eyes gave his features a sinister 
appearance, in spite of his effort to wear 
a look which would excite pity. He sat 
upon a tiny platform upon wheels, his 


True Detective Mysteries 

body resting upon his stockinged feet. 
Held in each hand — both of which were 
stiff and twisted at the wrists — was a 
contraption used to propel the wheeled 
platform. 

H URRYING to the nearby police sta- 
tion, I called up Brewster at the Al- 
dire, described the cripple, and asked him 
if he had noted him near the Black Pigeon 
entrance. He had. He had seen him 
each evening and had dropped a coin into 
his tin cup. He recalled distinctly, because 
the first night, after he had given the 
beggar the change from his overcoat 
pocket, the man had asked him the time. 
As he was about to reach for his time- 
piece, Miss Howland let go of the cloak 
she had pulled about her shoulders, looked 
at her wrist-watch, and told him. My guess 
was that the cripple had put the question 
for his purpose. And the banker’s daugh- 
ter, unsuspecting, had loosened her wrap, 
exposing her jewels. 

Borrowing a suit of clothes from a house 
detective, I made a quick change, then 
hastened to the Little Cottage and the Fire- 
side. The doormen at each place recalled 
the crippled beggar — that he had been there 
a few consecutive nights, then disappeared. 
My reasoning was that the cripple had re- 
mained in front of the clubs only sufficiently 
long to spot the Graysons and the Barnes- 
Morrisons and tip them to Kilmer, then 
go on to a new location. 

Hastening back to the block in which the 
Cafe d’Orleans was situated, I was glad to 
note the beggar still outside. At the corner 
I met the policeman on post, explained my 
identity, and asked about the cripple. He 
said he had taken up his post before the 
club on Sunday night and had been there 
each evening since. He was such a pitiful 
specimen the officer had not disturbed him, 
and wouldn’t unless a complaint was made. 
Cautioning him to say nothing about me, 
and to leave the beggar undisturbed, I re- 
turned on the opposite side of the street 
and took up a post of observation in the 
shadows of the deep doorway of an office 
building closed for the night. 

There I spent a long and tedious vigil, 
as I did not dare to smoke. By half -past 
two the block was practically deserted ex- 
cept for waiting automobiles, doormen and 
stragglers. The cripple emptied the coins 
from his cup. said good night to the starter, 
and pulled himself slowly and painfully 
down the block. Keeping close to the walls, 
I followed. After a time he reached a 
loft building, its front completely dark, 
and disappeared in its shadows. I took 
shelter behind a show-window. 

Suddenly a tall, heavily built man came 
from the building I was watching. As 
he passed beneath an electric light, I noted 
he wore a cap and appeared to be carrying 
something beneath his coat. I leaned out 
to get a closer look. He darted across the 
street, leaped into a waiting car, which at 
the distance appeared to be a taxicab, and 
was driven away so rapidly it was useless 
for me to attempt to follow. 

W HEN I recovered from my surprise I 
I crossed to the loft building. The 
doors were locked, as I had anticipated. 
My crippled beggar was a faker! 

Once in the shadow of the structure, 
wjth none near, he had untwisted himself, 
tucked his truck beneath his coat, and 


79 



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escaped in the machine which had been 
waiting for him. Then, far more than 
when I had tumbled to Kilmer’s identity, 
I realized I was up against one of the 
stiffest cases I ever had faced, and a band 
of crooks who were absolute masters of 
resourcefulness. 

I went to bed with a hunch that this 
beggar and Kilmer had met in the Middle 
West, for I was certain the faker did not 
belong around New York. As the Chicago 
police had given Joe a clean bill of health 
since leaving prison, I naturally thought 
they might have met when behind the bars. 

First thing next morning I called up the 
warden of the Illinois penitentiary. His 
information was good. During the early 
months with him, Joe had kept to himself. 
One day, in a row in the prison yard over 
a ball game, there had been a fight in 
which he had saved the life of a fellow 
prisoner, Dave Lucas, known to the under- 
world as “The Twister.” This man’s de- 
scription answered that of my beggar. In 
his early life he had been a contortionist 
with circuses, then a sneak-thief, and later 
a fence. After the prison clash, Lucas 
and Kilmer became close friends. The 
Twister’s time was up six months before 
Joe was liberated. He did not know where 
Lucas had gone. 

Realizing I held all the trump cards and 
must win if I played my hand carefully, 
I arranged a most elaborate plan, with 
Brady’s assistance. Beginning that night, 
a department taxicab was to wait near the 
Cafe d’Orleans for me. Another, in which 
would be two detectives familiar with Kil- 
mer’s appearance, also would wait in the 
same block and trail him when he again 
appeared. Next I arranged with the club 
manager to permit me to watch and listen 
at the cellar window just behind where 
the beggar had held a post nightly. That 
I might hear plainly, I raised the window 
about two inches. This, I figured, would 
not attract his attention. 

It was close to twelve o’clock that night. 
Many patrons had entered the building. My 
back ached from hours of stooping so I 
could look into the street. Then it was 
that 1 saw Kilmer pause before the beggar. 
The doorman was at the curb. No one 
stood near the crooked pair. 

Pretending to examine some coins in his 
hand, Joe leaned down with, “Anything 
to-night ?” 

“No. But I’ve spotted a pair of soft 
ones. She’s wearing an ermine coat and 
a pink dress. Watch for my signal and 
follow them. Heard her say she could 

come with him again Friday.” 

J OE dropped a coin into the cup and 
moved away. Hastening up-stairs, I 
learned from the coat-room help that the 
woman who recently had entered wearing 
the clothing described was Mrs. Bradley 
Archer. She was with her husband, a 
Wall Street plunger. I knew that the 
couple occupied an old mansion in Fifth 
Avenue facing Central Park. When I 
located them in the cabaret, I realized why 
the beggar had spotted her. She was as 
be jeweled as “the Street” plungers’ wives 
frequently are. 

Returning to my lookout post, I noted 
when the Archers left the place and saw 
Lucas take out his handkerchief and wipe 
his forehead. I guessed it was his signal 
to Joe, though I did not see the latter. I 


didn’t worry, however, for I knew my 
assistants would trail him. My interest for 
the night was in the faker. I went to 
the street immediately and, as on the previ- 
ous night, watched him. When he un- 
twisted himself in the shadows, then drove 
away in his cab, mine was not far behind. 
He entered a shabby house in upper Green- 
wich Village, and his car — which was 
painted to resemble a taxi — was driven to 
a public garage many blocks distant and 
left there. I noted the driver was a burly 
negro. 

Next morning I interviewed the three 
policemen who covered the beat in which 
Lucas lived. He had occupied the house 
for several months with two hulking negro 
servants, one of whom drove him from 
the district almost nightly. The other black 
also left the house each evening, and none 
returned until the early morning hours. 
The cops had begun to look upon them 
with suspicion, but saw no reason for get- 
ting inquisitive, because no visitors came 
to the place. 

While I was at the corner talking to the 
officer covering the morning patrol, Lucas 
came from the house. He passed without 
looking at us. Despite the fact that he 
wore good clothing and was carefully 
shaved and brushed, I recognized him as 
my beggar quarry. I trailed him to a bank 
in Eighth Avenue, where he went to the 
vaults and remained a considerable time. 
Later, through the bank policeman, I 
learned he had several safety-deposit boxes 
there. For future reference I took along 
a printed list of the bank’s officials and 
got a grin when I noted that Aaron How- 
land was on the board of directors. I 
wondered if Lucas kept the loot from the 
recent thefts there, and if the necklace was 
with it. 

N EXT I met my aids. Kilmer had fol- 
lowed the Archers home. After they 
had gone inside, he returned to the house, 
which had a high stoop, and examined the 
vestibule. His chauffeur, they said, was a 
a big negro, evidently Lucas* other “ser- 
vant.” Leaving the avenue, Joe was driven 
to a little hotel near the river. He had 
been living there for more than two weeks. 
Everything appeared to be all set for the 
crooks to put across the Friday night job, 
so I at once made all arrangements for 
the police end. These included the assign- 
ment of detectives to keep the principals 
and the negroes under surveillance at all 
times when they were not behind their own 
doors. I also placed Archer’s house under 
guard. But I did not inform him of what 
was in the wind lest his wife become 
frightened and do something which would 
prevent us capturing the crooks red-handed. 

Then — until Friday night — it was a case 
of trailing and marking time. That eve- 
ning, with a dozen men in various places 
ready to close in with me, I watched from 
my cellar lookout. I saw the Archers enter 
the place and heard Kilmer get his final 
orders. When the couple left the club 
I was at their heels, and my cab, in which 
were an assistant and a disguised depart- 
ment driver, took up the trail of the other. 
My aid informed me Joe had left the 
neighborhood in his car long before. I 
figured he would be waiting in the vesti- 
bule. When traffic was halted at the Plaza, 
I slipped to the Archer car, showed my 
badge, and climbed inside. They were 




81 


more than amazed when I explained my 
errand, but agreed to play the roles I 
•assigned them. 

When the car stopped before the house, 
we alighted, and they spoke to the chauf- 
feur sufficiently loud to be heard by the 
man I was certain was hiding just above 
us. Crouching behind them, so he would 
not see me if he were peeping, my revolver 
held ready, I followed to the stoop. They 
stepped aside and I went up, making suf- 
ficient sound for two. 

Reaching the top, I stuck my head into 
the doorway, then jerked back. As I had 
anticipated, Joe’s hand, clutching a pistol, 
shot out, evidently meant to press against 
my body. It never reached me. Instead, 
the butt of my weapon smashed upon his 
hand and his gun dropped. There came a 
roar of pain and a curse, and the next 
instant we tumbled down the steps and 
rolled to the gutter. Squirming, kicking, 
biting, he tried to break my hold. I worked 
around on top. Then I recalled Miss How- 
land’s bruised cheek. The next second I 
sent the butt of my revolver crashing 
against his skull and he collapsed in my 
arms— out. 

B Y that time several detectives were 
about us. They had captured Joe’s 
getaway car and its driver. Ordering 
them to rush their prisoners to Headquar- 
ters, I leaped into my machine and told 
my driver to race for the Cafe d’Orleans. 
At the corner of the side street I picked 
up one of my watchers. He reported the 
cripple still before the night club When 
we reached there several persons were 
coming out. It was no time for ceremony, 
however. Grasping Lucas’ collar, I jerked 
him from his platform with: “On your 
feet, you faker. You’re under arrest.” 
Groveling, whining, he begged the fash- 
ionable ones who pressed close with cries 


True Detective Mysteries 

of “Shame!” to help him. “We’re officers,” 

I said, showing my badge. “Now, Lucas, 
quit the cripple stuff. We’ve just arrested 
Kilmer and ” 

At the mention of Joe’s name he came 
to life as if propelled by springs. Tearing 
himself from my grasp, he fought his way 
through my assistants and leaped for the 
street. I was upon him with a flying 
tackle. He was a tough battler, but I 
managed to throw him face down, and with 
a ju-jutsu hold twisted his arm behind him 
until he roared with pain. “Quiet, you,” 

I bellowed, “or I’ll make you a real cripple 
for life.” As he slumped, I brought his 
ether wrist behind him and an assistant 
snapped the handcuffs. Down the street 
we encountered the other negro driver, held 
by two detectives. 

That about completes the story, except 
that we were able to make out such a case 
against the four that they were found 
guilty and given long stretches, though 
their corps of expensive “crook attorneys” 
made a hard fight to save them. One of 
the interesting things we brought out was 
that the company of which Brewster was 
the head had twice furnished bonds for 
Kilmer. After the trial the man resigned 
from the organization and went into an- 
other line of business, though no truce be- 
tween him and Howland was declared. 
Howland was most useful to the authori- 
ties. Because of his influence, we were 
able to obtain quickly the strong boxes held 
in Lucas’ name. In them we found every 
jewel taken by Joe in the recent stick-ups, 
including the Howland necklace, as well as 
other plunder stolen in Chicago. This was 
returned to the owners. 

Chester is somewhere in the Far West 
making a new start. Before leaving New 
York he told me Norma was going to wait 
for him to make good. 


Was This Woman Crazy? 

( Continued from page 43) 


Vaguely I looked down at my feet, 
striving frantically for some witty, yet 
convincing, thing to say. I succeeded only 
in conveying an impression of extreme ir- 
ritability. 

“Oh, for heavens’ sake!” I snapped, 
pettishly — “out digging. Can’t a man dig 
if he wants to?” 

“But Burton, dear — that mud ” 

And then her lips closed like a trap and 
I fancied she shrank back ever so slightly 
as I passed in front of her into the house. 

I don’t know what under the sun made 
me say those idiotic words. It must 
have been the thousand devils that by this 
time were hammering the top of my head. 
But why did she have to ask me what I 
was doing, anyway? A man’s entitled to 
a little freedom on his own premises. Still, 
of all things on earth, why did I tell her 
I was digging — I, who don’t know a spade 
from a hoe — and at an hour when the 
world was in such appalling blackness that 
had I unearthed some astounding thing, 
I would have needed a searchlight to see it. 
I bit my lips irritably, finding life sud- 
denly very difficult. However, having de- 
livered myself of this explanation, there 
was little else to do but betake myself, 


with a feeble show of cockiness, up the 
front stairs to my room. 

T O forget my irritation, I went back 
over the evening’s occurrence. The 
point that struck home was that someone 
did not want me to go beyond the orchard. 
But what lay over there? Nothing of 
significance — only the rude shack of Jennie 
Briggs, the cottage of Miss Clifton, a 
quiet spinster so gnarled with rheumatism 
she hadn’t the strength to crack a nut, a 
few scattered barns, and then a long dusty 
stretch of road. It was all very peculiar. 
Far into the night I pondered on it and 
before I fell asleep I had decided to put 
my clever idea into execution the follow- 
ing evening. 

Now, I am no detective. I cannot de- 
tect rain in the air unless it is actually 
falling. I think it must have been the 
excitement of the thing that egged me 
on, one of those inexplicable urges that 
occasionally seize us doddering old fools 
long after youth has fled, filling our blood 
with the red wine of adventure even while 
our teeth chatter and we half reach out 
for our pipe and book again. 

The following day passed with intermin- 
able slowness, marked only by a noticeable 



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coldness on the part of Martha. And 
early in the morning when I went into the 
cellar for something or other I found her 
down there at an old disused set tub fur- 
tively sponging the mud from my suit. 
She did not speak to me. She would not 
even look at me. Good heavens! Does 
she think I tracked the mud into the 
study the night Simmons was killed? 
Does she think with the rest that I killed 
him? 

At the first sign of dark I set about 
making a few quiet preparations for my 
little trip, which was rather difficult to 
do since I had not taken Martha into my 
confidence. Twice she came out on the 
veranda just as I was setting off and each 
time I was forced to seat myself with 
the greatest possible nonchalance on the 
railing — a thing I never do since an un- 
protected height of any kind makes me 
extremely nervous. And she knows this. 

F INALLY, however, I managed to slip 
off accompanied by Major (who is my 
Airedale, and as canny a dog as ever 
walked), a long dark top-coat over my arm. 
and my pipe between my teeth. This last 
I took especial care to have burning 
brightly. The darkness that drenched the 
orchard that night was like a stifling pall. 
No moon. No stars. Just a heavy, earthy 
odor — and incredible blackness. 

Before I had advanced very far my 
riotous spirit of adventure had completely 
oozed away, leaving me stark afraid. Back 
in the safety of my well-lighted room the 
thing had looked glorious. Here in the 
orchard, with the earth smelling like a 
tomb, it looked like the act of a madman. 

I seemed to have conveyed some of my 
mood to Major, also, for he whined at in- 
tervals and slunk along beside me in ill- 
concealed disgust, as dogs often will when 
torn between common sense and loyalty. 

And yet, in spite of this, I plodded fool- 
hardily on. If I, myself, could catch the 
murderer, I could clear away once and for 
all the pall of suspicion that hovered over 
me, and what’s more, I would probably be 
regarded as something of a hero. This 
last thought caused me no little pleasure. 

Suddenly a sort of sixth sense warned 
me that I was nearing the scene of the 
previous evening’s set-to. Stealthily I 
stooped down, drew Major’s shaggy form 
in front of me, slipped the top-coat over his 
broad back and sent him on ahead. It 
was a frightful trick to play on a friend, 
but I swear I had no idea how badly he 
would fare. 

As he slunk forward, the weight of the 
coat beating him down, he looked for all 
the world like a human figure creeping on 
hands and knees. Just as he reached the 
tree, the form of a man sprang out upon 
him. A wild, savage snarl cut the air 
followed by a sickening thud, a moan — 
then pitiful silence. For a moment I was 
as a man turned to stone and yet, oddly 
enough, that was just what I had ex- 
pected. 

Then, in a flash, I recovered my senses 
and with a strangled oath I pitched after 
Major’s assailant, my whole being 

whipped into frenzy at his brutality, and 
my own. The man, aware now of the trap 
into which he had fallen, shot desperately 
over the soft ground, out toward the road. 
L’p hill and down we flew, slipping over 
decayed fruit, plowing roughshod 


through Martha’s prized corn, faster and 
faster — out over the dirt road and straight 
through the dimly lighted door of Jennie 
Briggs’ house. 

“Trapped!” I exulted under my breath 
— “trapped as neatly as any fox!” And 
my quarry could have chosen no worse 
refuge, for old Jennie would never have 
the wits to aid him in his effort to hide. 

With a triumphant growl I hurtled 
through the doorway and crashed him to 
the floor beneath me. Over and over we 
rolled, twisted, wrenched, choked. I mar- 
veled at my incredible strength. I ex- 
ulted in it. I summoned hidden forces 
that I never dreamed I possessed until 
suddenly the panting, writhing, frantic 
creature under my hands gave a last great 
heave and then went quietly to putty. 

Dazed, I still continued to pin him in 
a vise, but he made no effort to escape now. 
He lay inert — lifeless. As I waited, for 
heaven knows what, his very helplessness 
seemed slowly to steal the glory of the 
battle from me. A chill of fear crept 
through me. Had I killed him? 

I N sudden desperation I caught the limp 
figure and tried to make it sit up, but it 
is hard to lift a dead- weight body. I 
shook it again and again with a kind of 
hysterical viciousness and as I did, it sud- 
denly rolled off and I drew up aghast. 
The face that I stared down into was not 
that of a murderous ruffian, not the face 
of a man at all, but the white countenance 
of looney Jennie Briggs! Jennie in men’s 
clothes, her shrunken old body slumped 
grotesquely in dirty denim overalls. This 
was a woman that I had killed! 

In a panic of fear I threw the body 
from me and bolted toward the door, 
every nerve strung taut. I must fly just 
as far and fast as my legs would carry me. 
No time to see Martha — or Daisy. I must 
disappear completely, irrevocably. If I 

could only make the back road, unseen 

Just as I was in the shadow of the door, 
a demoniacal shriek jerked me up abruptly. 
Terrified beyond endurance, I whirled 
about to find myself looking directly into 
the wide-open eyes of the woman. She 
had struggled to her feet and stood re- 
garding me with an insane look. 

With effort I moistened my lips. 

“Jennie 1” I cried, hoarsely, “Jennie!” 
No answer, only that intolerable staring. 
Then all at once her breast began to heave 
spasmodically, and she broke into insane 
peals of laughter that seemed to cleave 
the very rafters of that miserable shack. 

“Hush, Jennie!” I hissed, anger strug- 
gling with the relief that swept over me. 
“The neighbors will hear you!” 

At the sound of my voice she stopped 
abruptly on a high note, a queer gleam in 
her eyes. 

“Neighbors!” she shrilled, “what do I 
care for neighbors? They can’t get me 
now. You ain’t got me either, mister, 
though you think you have. This here’s 
got me.” She thumped her flat breasts 
pitilessly. 

I made no answer and she peered up at 
me craftily. “Well, what are you think- 
ing?” 

By now I had presence of mind enough 
to speak soothingly. It needed only a 
single grating word to convert her into a 
raving lunatic again. 

“Why, nothing, Jennie.” 


83 


She shrugged incredulously, her eyes 
fastened shrewdly on me. “You think I 
killed Henry Simmons, now don’t you?” 
“Indeed, I don’t, Jennie!” I hastened to 
assure her. 

Abruptly she went off into peals of 
mirthless laughter again, and finally get- 
ting her breath, shouted: “I did kill him!” 
1 stared at her helplessly. She was mad 
as a March hare. 

“But, Jennie ” 

A spasm of coughing seized her and she 
clasped her thin hands to her chest. 

“Here, let me help you over to the 
couch,” I ordered, my anger lost in pity. 
“You will feel better there.” 

She shook her head irritably. “I’ll 
never feel better nowhere, mister!” 

I helped her to the couch, motivated by 
a strange tenderness, and sat beside her. 

“There, that’s better,” she said, as she 
leaned back against the wall “1 just ran 
into you by chance last night, mister, and 
you frightened me. I didn’t mean to kill 
you — just wanted to scare you off. But I 
meant to kill Henry Simmons right 
enough !” 

“But, Jennie, why ” 

She cut me off savagely. “Because he 
stole the only thing I had in the world. 
I’d kill him again if he was here now!” 
What in heaven’s name could the old 
gardener have stolen from Jennie, to war- 
rant her murdering him? 

“I’ll tell you about Henry Simmons. I’m 
a-goin’ soon, so it don’t matter.” She 
stirred uneasily, striving for a beginning. 
“I suppose you think I’m a-goin’ to tell 
you I was a grand lady once. Well, I 
wasn’t. I was always poor an’ what’s 
worse, homely. When I was small I was so 
homely they used to make fun of me, and 
when I growed up I didn’t improve none.” 
She peered up at me sideways, like a 
crab. 

“F\0 you know, mister, I never had a 
U beau? You don’t know what that 
means to. a woman. An’ I’d have been 
good to a man, too. But I had a little 
sister an’ she was a little beauty. She 
didn’t lack no beau, mister. Every man 
what set eyes on her wanted to marry her. 
She had hair like gold and big blue eyes 
like you see in pictures of angels. She 
was all I had in the world. And then one 
day along come Luke Parker. I knew he 
was no good the minute I clapped my eyes 
on him. He was one of those big easy- 
goin’ fellows, laughin’ all the time and 
carry in’ on, but never doin’ a tap of work. 
But she couldn’t see nothin’ but his big 
broad shoulders an’ his eyes, mister, and 
she up an’ run away with him. She run 
away with him, mister, leavin’ me, her 
Jennie, what would have done anythin’ in 
the world for her, all alone.” 

She paused. 

“She came back after a while, mister. 
He was through with her an’ he jest up 
and left her, with a young ’un coinin’ an* 
all. But she came back to her old Jennie 
an’ I was so happy to get her back, it 
seemed easy to bear the shame. It was 
easier than the loneliness, anyway. We 
moved away, mister, an’ I worked my 
fingers to the bone to get enough together 
to have her cared for right. I ain’t com- 
plainin’, mister ; I’d have given my heart’s 
blood for her. She was all I had. But 
she died, mister, an’ the baby died, an’ I 


True Detective Mysteries 


was all alone again. An’ all I could think 
of was Luke Parker wanderin’ off free 
an’ happy ” 

The fierce fire in her eyes was a piteous 
thing to see. I ached for her. 

“It’s many a long year since then, mister. 
I never see him again, though I watched 
every man that passed me. An’ finally I 
give it up. But when Henry Simmons 
came to your place a spell back somethin’ 
inside of me suddenly snapped. I could 
not believe it was him at first, but when 
I saw his eyes I knew it was. An’ all the 
misery he brought to me an’ mine seemed 
to rush over me again an’ I up an’ killed 
him. It was easy. He was snoopin’ 
around your study. I seen him from the 
orchard. He killed her, mister. She was 
all I had. So I killed him.” 

The elemental justice of it! 

“He killed her, mister. She was all I 
had. So I killed him.” 

Some dormant spring within me leaped 
to her clear, cold logic — even while I knew 
it to be fallacious. 

The next moment she had slumped 
weakly against me. 

“I’m all right, mister. Just wore out, 
that’s all. I’ll stretch out here on the 
couch now for a spell.” 

Almost before I had finished tucking a 
moth-eaten blanket about her wasted body 
she had dropped off to a sleep of utter ex- 
haustion. 

Far into the night I sat there beside her, 
forgetful of time, of Martha, of my own 
deplorable susceptibility to rheumatism. I 
knew I would have to go back to the 
house. I couldn’t sit there forever. Yet, 
somehow’, I dreaded that return. How 
much should I tell? How much should I 
keep? Just a few w’ords from me would 
sw r eep aside the suspicion that encircled me 
still. Just a few adroitly put sentences 
would give me a delight fitlly enhanced rat- 
ing both in my own home and with the 
neighbors. And yet it seemed so woefully 
cruel to escape on Jennie’s pitiful tale. 
Told by her, it rang with sincerity and a 
certain, strange beauty. On the lips of the 
villagers it would he a hideous rag of a 
thing. 

I arose wearily. It was all so very dif- 
ficult. Perhaps, if I let it lie, it would 
right itself eventually. 

For a moment before leaving I stared 
down at the emaciated old face at peace 
on the dirty pillow* — then w r alked silently 
out. 

Six hours later I limped laboriously 
down to breakfast. Martha was absorbed 
in the paper at my entrance, but that in no 
way prevented her from noting my in- 
firmity. She said nothing, even when I 
reached for my egg with a grimace of 
pain, but when I had finished my coffee 
she contributed the following : 

“The milkman says looney Jennie 
Briggs is dead — died in her sleep last 
night. It’s just as well. She w’asn’t ever 
of much use to herself or anyone else — 
just plumb crazy.” 

I did not answer. After all, was Jennie 
Briggs crazy when she told her story? 

Anyway, there is no w’isdom in answer- 
ing Martha. But I knew she w f as w*rong, 
and I attacked my egg with a childish 
sense of superiority, doggedly reckless of 
the time when, after breakfast, she should 
go up-stairs and find fresh incriminating 
mud on my second pair of trousers. 


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True Detective Mysteries 

“$10,000 or We Kill Your Son” 

( Continued from page 25) 


to tell me?” I asked him. “What is the 
latest? I understand the gang’s getting 
into action.” 

He fumbled with his coat, unbuttoned 
it, and from the breast pocket took a 
letter. This he handed over silently. 

It was short and written in a sprawling, 
though careful, child’s handwritting : 

Papa help me quick. They beat 
me with a hors civi tip every day. 

Johnnie. 

“You are sure that this was written by 
Johnnie?” I asked him. 

The father nodded silently. Tears blur- 
red his eyes though he kept a stiff upper 
lip. It was just as easy to drown a duck 
by throwing water on its back as it was 
to try to get voluntary information from 
Cascardo without using pressure. 

“Yesterday, however, you got in touch 
with some one who can take a message to 
those who know where Johnnie is,” I re- 
minded him, severely. “Why didn’t you 
let me know?” 

H IS dark eyes grew large with fear. 

I appreciated his mental anguish, but 
it was necessary to be a bit cruel. I be- 
lieved I could read his mind. He suspected 
that I had made investigations on my own 
account — perhaps gaining information 
from underground sources. As a matter 
of fact, this would have been impossible, 
for the kidnappers were the most 
secretive of gangs ; there was no chance of 
a leak. However, I was obliged to play 
on this fear. 

“Cascardo, you know I don’t want to 
have our men going around asking ques- 
tions, though that will be necessary unless 
you give me your confidence,” I said. 

His eyebrows met in a deep frown. 
Once or twice he opened his mouth to 
speak. 

It was a stifling, hot August afternoon. 
I had left the door, communicating with 
the drug-store, open, in order to admit a 
breath of air. The merry blare of a 
hurdy-gurdy organ, mingled with the joy- 
ous voices of children dancing to its music, 
drifted in. 

As if absolutely worn out, Cascardo col- 
lapsed on a chair. 

“Here’s another I received this morn- 
ing,” he admitted, handing me a letter on 
which was the now familiar printed char- 
acters and the ugly black hand. “It say : 
‘Your boy is crying for you. If you do 
not send us $5,000 he will soon cry no 
more.* ” 

“Then, someone has been sent direct to 
you from the black-handers and you didn’t 
tell me, Cascardo,” I snapped. “That man 
whom you met yesterday — you told him 
you could not raise the ten thousand! 
That’s why they have reduced the amount 
of the ransom.” 

He nodded. “Yes, a man came and said 
he could take a message to a man who 
would see that it reached the right man,” 
he muttered, passing his hand over his 
perspiration-drenched forehead. “I told 
him I could not get the ten thousand. I 
guess, they have found out by now that 
I couldn’t. I can’t raise more than one 


thousand. That’s all. I guess it don’t help 
us much. I don’t know the man’s name.” 
“Oh, yes it does,” I comforted him. 
“Offer them the one thousand and promise 
the balance later. They seem to be in 
pretty close touch with your affairs. If 

you don’t pay up ” 

I left the rest to his imagination. After 
a minute, I continued : 

“However, Cascardo, don’t forget you 
must let me know before you pay out that 
money. It must be paid in marked bills. 
If you double-cross me now, you are not 
going to do yourself any good.” 

He rose to his feet slowly, nodded, and 
took his departure. 

T WO days later the man on the delivery 
wagon called again. As on the 
former occasion, Cascardo left the store 
and held a conversation with him on the 
sidewalk. 

In that congested section of the city, 
these pavement confabs attracted no at- 
tention. Street vendors bargaining with 
thrifty foreign housewives, screaming, 
dark-eyed children, flirting with death as 
they tantalized furious truck drivers by 
scampering in front of their ambling 
dray-horses, shrill voices of factory girls 
from nearby sweat-shops — all served to 
make eavesdropping impo sible. 

From their flat across the street, my 
watchers observed the pantomime as the 
argument between the two men took place. 
Cascardo, with helpless shrugs and vig- 
orous head-shakings was evidenly explain- 
ing the extent of his financial resources. 
The driver, with many gesticulations and 
flashes of white teeth, that shone in his 
swarthy face like the fangs of a wolf, 
seemed to be protesting his impotence to 
aid the unhappy baker. My men who 
were on the watch could hear nothing, but 
they were taking note of every gesture. 

Suddenly a child’s scream rent the air. 
Once only — then silence. From the win- 
dows above, women’s heads popped out. 
The street crowd milled towards the scene 
of the accident. One youngster more 
reckless than others had fallen beneath a 
horse’s hoofs. 

The man who was talking with Cas- 
cardo glanced carelessly over his shoulder, 
turned back to the baker and grinned. 
Cascardo, however, pushed him to one side 
and joined the others. He had three other 
children besides Johnnie — it might be one 
of them! His companion, with a shrug, 
followed. 

Immediately his back was turned to the 
wagon, one of my men, who with his fel- 
low shadow, was waiting to take up the 
trail, took advantage of the confusion to 
jump aboard the small, covered wagon and 
conceal himself. 

It was a risky performance, but it con- 
firmed our suspicions. When he turned 
up the following morning, after having 
been locked up in a small livery stable on 
East Twelfth Street all night, he reported 
that the driver had left the wagon there and 
after a short, casual chat with its manager, 
had remarked that he would return the fol- 
lowing morning. The thing he learned was 
that the driver did not work for the com- 
pany that owned the wagon, and the elab 


85 


orate precautions covering his movements 
was in close contact with the chief insti- 
gators in the kidnapping. 

I sent two men over to keep the livery 
stable under surveillance immediately. 

Days passed, however, before the 
phony driver showed up again and during 
that time another kidnapping case came to 
my attention, in which the little victim 
was in infinitely more desperate straits 
than little Johnnie. 

I HAD taken the letter which Johnnie 
was supposed to have sent his father, 
to Public School Number 3, at Hudson 
and Grove Streets, where the child had 
been a star pupil. There I submitted the 
letter to the young lady who taught his 
class. 

“Do you recognize this writing as 
Johnnie Cascardo’s?” I asked, after cau- 
tioning her not to mention the note. 

“Oh, yes, that’s Johnnie’s,” she an- 
swered readily. “I have so often scolded 
the poor little fellow for making all those 
queer little curlycues on his capital ‘p’s’ 
There is something I’d like to tell you,” 
she continued, a perplexed frown wrin- 
kling her brow and a worried look in her 
big, blue eyes. “There may not be any- 
thing in it, and you know how people in 
this neighborhood resent inquiries — but I 
heard one of the little girls confiding to 
another that her sister had been taken 
away by the Black Fox. She had over- 
heard her father discussing it with a 
stranger yesterday when she was playing 
hide-and-go-seek. I made inquiries and 
learned that this child has been missing 
from classes. The parents sent a note 
saying that she is visiting an aunt.” 

I obtained the little girl’s address. Just 
how I managed to persuade her father to 
confide in me and show me the letter, does 
not matter. This is Johnnie Cascardo’s 
story. Briefly, I managed to see the note. 
In order to impress on me how disastrous 
it would be should the kidnappers get an 
inkling that the police knew of the crime, 
it was translated to me then and there: 

We hare Marie. Do not go to the 
police. Beware. Send us $15,000 by 
our messenger . He will come soon. 

If you do not send this, Marie will be 
sold . 

This also was printed and signed by the 
Black Hand. 

As Marie’s parents were very well-to- 
do, I realized that there would be much 
less delay in bringing matters to a show- 
down than in the case of Johnnie Cascardo. 

The postmark showed that the letter had 
been mailed in an outlying village of Long 
Island ; yet the printing and the tone of 
the message so closely resembled those 
received by Cascardo that I was convinced 
that it had been sent by the same gang. 

We had been working forty-five days 
on the Cascardo case before we discovered 
who the mysterious go-between actually 
was. By shadowing the driver of the de- 
livery wagon, my men learned that he 
was Frank Barcia, who ostensibly owned 
a grocery store on East Seventy-sixth 
Street. 

I could insert a few thrills here of how 
two of my men attempted to overhear a 
conversation between Barcia and Alfred 
Costagliola, who had a small wine store 
and basement saloon in the same block. 


True D etective Mysteries 


However, though they nearly lost their 
lives, they learned nothing, so it has really 
nothing to do with this story. 

Donning an inconspicuous suit of old 
clothes and a rakish visored cap, I saun- 
tered past Cascardo’s bakery just as I saw 
him putting up his shutters for the night. 

He was walking along the garishly 
lighted streets, nodding and answering the 
salutations of friends and customers who 
were seeking a breath of fresh air before 
turning in. 

“Well, has Barcia told you where to 
send the money?” I asked him abruptly. 

I was not afraid that he would betray 
any astonishment or excitement. He had 
been well schooled in repression. 

“I DON’T know who Barcia is,” he re- 
1 plied. “But I was going to let you 
know, I’m to have the money ready to- 
morrow. I don’t know where it is to be 
paid.” 

“I’ll be in the back room of the drug- 
store all day to-morrow and to-morrow 
night,” I advised him and slouched off. 
“I’ll expect you.” 

About two o’clock the following after- 
noon I heard Cascardo’s voice in the store 
asking the clerk for medicine. 

“I’ll have to have this prescription 
filled,” I heard the man reply. “Don’t 
you want to go inside and wait?” 

At first glance I thought Cascardo had 
received bad news. His face was ghastly. 

However, he quickly relieved me on 
this point. Without any urging this time, 
he began to speak rapidly in his broken 
English. 

“I have the money,” he started to say, 
when I interrupted him. 

“Let me have it,” I ordered. “It must 
be marked. Now, go on.” 

While he advised me of the arrange- 
ment decided upon by the kidnappers I 
was busily engaged in marking the large 
roll of bills. They were of twenty, ten, 
and five-dollar denominations. 

“I take the elevated train at Bleecker 
Street and Sixth Avenue,” he told me in a 
voice which was little above a hoarse 
whisper. “I am to go to South Ferry. I 
have to get off at several stations to see 
if anybody is following. If anybody gets 
off and on, I will know somebody is fol- 
lowing me.” As if repeating a well 
learned lesson, he spoke monotonously and 
without the slightest feeling. “If I get 
to South Ferry without being followed, 
I take the Second Avenue north bound 
train. To see if I am being followed, I 
get off at Seventy-second Street and 
Second Avenue. If I see nobody follow- 
ing me, I walk up to Seventy-sixth 
Street and Second Avenue. I go into 
the wine store on the corner and there I 
will meet the man who came to me on the 
delivery wagon. He’ll have me meet the 
right man.” 

Certainly the kidnappers were taking 
all precautions. I sincerely believe that 
Cascardo did not know Barcia’s name. 
Anyway, though I knew that Costagliola 
owned the wine store at Seventy-sixth 
Street and Second Avenue, mentioned as 
the rendezvous, I kept this information to 
myself. 

“All right, go ahead and follow their 
instructions,” I remarked, rising from my 
chair and handing him the marked money. 
“I promise you again that until you have 



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Johnnie back, I won’t make a move to 
molest those men.’* 

Though he was on the eve of receiving 
back his son — or at least, so he thought — 
there was no enthusiasm or suppressed ex- 
citement in Cascardo’s manner. He had 
been under such a nervous strain that all 
feeling seemed to have been sapped out 
of him. 

When I instructed him to get off at 
Fourteenth Street, and at Park and Rector 
Streets, on the Sixth Avenue elevated ; 
also, at Forty-second Street on the Second 
Avenue line — he agreed without asking 
questions, and departed. 

It had occurred to me that Black Fox 
would very likely have a shadow tailing 
Cascardo in order to be certain that the 
baker made no slip-ups in detecting sus- 
picious passengers who alighted from and 
re-entered the same trains that he did. 
Therefore, at each of the stations I men- 
tioned, I had men waiting to board the 
trains at the same time Cascardo did. 

It was impossible to foretell in which 
way such a sly creature as Black Fox 
would jump and I was taking no chances 
on Barcia suddenly appearing at one of 
the stations designated, and changing the 
route. There was the risk, of course, of 
the go-between being on the train and 
directing Cascardo to get off at stations 
other than those I had selected, but that 
was one of the gambles that all detectives 
are up against. We could not afford to 
have men at each station. 

As it was, all went smoothly. Cas- 
cardo reached the wine store in due course, 
entered, remained for half an hour and 
left. The man who had completed the 
journey with him returned with him, and 
two others who were keeping the store 
under surveillance kept a sharp look-out. 

I WAS seated at my table in the back 
room of the drug store waiting reports. 
As soon as Cascardo left, one of my men 
called up and advised me. Half an hour 
later the same tailer telephoned me that 
Barcia, Costagliola, and a third man, had 
walked over to the East River and seemed 
to be holding a conference. Naturally, it 
was impossible to get within eaves- 
dropping distance. 

“Follow the third man,” I ordered. “I’ll 


send somebody over to keep the stores 
under surveillance.” 

From the reports which had been sent 
in by the men who had been trailing 
Barcia, I made a list of all the people he 
had visited — some half a dozen — and tel- 
ephoned for men to keep these closely 
watched. 

After dispatching two men to East 
Seventy-sixth Street, I walked over to 
Bleecker Street and Sixth Avenue to in- 
tercept Cascardo when he returned. 

It was a sultry, oppressive day and when 
my man finally arrived, he looked to be 
on the verge of a collapse. 

“They return the boy to-night,” he 
mumbled. “For God’s sake keep away! 
They’ll kill him ! I think they suspect ” 

Eleven o’clock arrived without Johnnie. 
Almost frantic, Cascardo dashed up-town 
again. 

In the meantime, my men who had been 
shadowing the third man who had been 
in conference with Barcia and Costagliola 
returned and made their report. 

Cascardo was evidently not far wrong 
in saying that the kidnappers were sus- 
picious of surveillance. The unknown, 
after leaving his companions, had led 
them a merry chase — running, walking, 
dodging. It was in the heart of the Italian 
section, the avenues lined with push-carts, 
the side streets teeming with children — 
the worst sort of ground for shadow 
work. 

Though one of my men lost the quarry, 
the second succeeded in catching up with 
a Second Avenue open surface car which 
he had been seen to board. All went well 
until he alighted and crossed over to the 
Bowery. It was impossible to tell whether 
or not he was actually aware that he was 
being followed; it may have been merely 
an extra precaution which made him bump 
into a group of loafers and instigate a 
fight. In the crowd which quickly gath- 
ered, he managed to escape. 

I didn’t blame my men. It had been a 
day of terrific heat and humidity. They 
had been working very hard and we were 
up against a very foxy mob — no pun in- 
tended on the name “Black Fox.” That 
is exactly what they were. 

It was around eight o’clock when I 
received the report of the failure to tail 


STATEMENT OF THE OWNERSHIP. MANAGEMENT. CIRCULATION. ETC., REQUIRED BY 
THE ACT OF CONGRESS OF AUGUST 24. 1912, of TRUE DETECTIVE MYSTERIES, published 
monthly at Jamaica. N.Y., for April 1, 1927. 

State ot New York t 
County of New York \ w * 

Before me. a Notary Public In and for the State and County aforesaid, personally appeared H. A. 

Keller, who having been duly sworn according to law, deiioses and says that he is the 

Editor of the TRUE DETECTIVE MYSTERIES and that the following is, to the best of his knowledge 

and belief, a true statement of the ownership, management (and if a daily paper, the circulation), etc., 

of the aforesaid publication for the date shown in the above caption, required by the Act of August 24. 1912. 

embodied in section 411 Postal Laws and Regulations, printed on the reverse of this form, to wit: 

1. That the names and addresses of the publisher, editor, managing editor, and business managers are: 
Publisher. New Metropolitan Fiction. Inc., 1926 Broadway. New York, N. Y. Editor. H. A. Keller, 
3 Riverside Drive. New York. N. Y. Managing Editor, Joseph M. Roth, 541 Ncpperhan Avenue. Yonkers, 
N. Y. Business Managers, none. 

2. That the owner is: (If owned by a corporation, its name and address must be stated and also immedi- 

ately thereunder the names and addresses of stockholders owning or holding one per cent or more of total 
amount of stock. It not owned by a corporation, the names and addresses of the individual owners must be 
given. If owned by a firm, company, or other unincorporated concern, its name and address, as well as those 
of each individual member, must be given.) Owners — New Metropolitan Fiction, Inc.. 1926 Broadway, 

New York, N. Y. Stockholder — Macfadden Publications. Inc., 1926 Broadway. New York. N.Y. Stock- 
holders in Macfadden Publications. Inc.. Bcmarr Macfadden, West Nyack, N. Y. ; O. J. Elder, 276 Harnson 
Street. East Orange, N. J, 

3. That the known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding one per cent 
or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities are: (If there are none, so state.) None. 

4. That the two paragraphs next above, giving the names of the owners, stockholders, and security 
holders, if any, contain not only the list of stockholders and security holders as they appear upon the books 
of the company but also, in cases where the stockholder or security holder appears upon the books of the 
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trustee is acting, is given; also that the said two paragraphs contain statements embracing affiant’s knowl- 
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87 


the unknown to his destination. At eight- 
thirty we found him again, and this is 
how it came about: 

Among the men visited by Barcia was a 
certain small banker on the East Side who 
was very friendly with the underworld. 
This was one of the places that my men 
were keeping under surveillance. I was 
just bidding the shadow men good night 
over one phone when the other phone rang 

“A tall, very thin man, blond, dressed in 
a brown suit with pink sox, ribbed with 
blue, and wearing a brown cap, just en- 
tered the bank,” he reported. “He rang 
the night-bell.” 

“Keep track of him !** I ordered. “He’s 
very important. Don’t lose sight of him 
for a minute.” 

I was certainly pleased, for the detec- 
tive had given me the exact description I 
had received from the man who had suc- 
ceeded in tailing the unknown as far as 
the Bowery. 

At eleven- forty- five, after learning that 
one of the men who was covering the 
bakery had telephoned to say that Cas- 
cardo had taken the down-town elevated, 
the unknown’s trailer called me up again 
to say the man had gone up-town and that 
he had just seen him enter Costagliola’s 
wine store. 

All night long my two telephones kept 
ringing as the various detectives kept me 
in constant touch with the activities of 
the men, and the places they were watch- 
ing. To tell the truth, all this excitement 
didn’t seem good to me. Though I 
wouldn’t have admitted it to Cascardo, I 
had an uneasy feeling myself that some- 
thing had occurred to make the kidnappers 
suspicious. 

The late summer dawn was breaking 
over cluttered Bleecker Street when 1 left 
my post in charge of one of my lieuten- 
ants in order to snatch a few minutes* 
sleep. In the next block I could see Cas- 
cardo opening up the shutters which led 
to his basement baking quarters. 

When I neared him, I saw that his eyes 
were swollen for lack of sleep and his face 
was gray with fatigue. Hearing my steps, 
he looked up from the bottom of the 
short flight of stone stairs. 

“Please keep away,” he begged. “Gui- 
done wasn’t there. I went up-town after 
Johnnie when he didn’t come. She, his 
wife, says ‘You get the boy all right, don’t 
be worried.* But I’m afraid. Why should 
she know?” 

“Oh, he’ll be all right.” I reassured 
him. “They sent somebody with your 
money to the bank to be sure it was O. K. 
He’ll turn up to-night.” 

But I was just as surprised as Cas- 
cardo at Mrs. Guidone knowing so much 
about her husband’s underhand business. 
As I said before, Italians as a rule don’t 
confide that sort of thing to their wives. 

AFTER four hours’ sleep and a hearty 
** breakfast of ham and eggs and plenty 
of strong, black coffee, I was back on the 
job. 

It was eleven-thirty that night before 
my telephone bell rang and one of the men 
who had been watching the bakery re- 
ported that Johnnie had been seen to enter 
the store which was still open. 

I waited for an hour so that the little 
hoy’s mother would have a chance to 


True Detective Mysteries 

cry over and hug him a bit and give him 
something to eat. 

Then, I entered the side entrance which 
opened off the hall and was used after the 
store was closed. 

“Cascardo, I’ve done my part and kept 
my word,” I spoke gruffly for I wanted 
to forestall any argument. “I want to 
talk to Johnnie.” 

Johnnie, a tall boy for his ten years, 
with very bright, dark, intelligent eyes 
and chubby cheeks which were much paler 
than those of healthy Italian children, was 
seated on his mother’s lap. His brothers 
and sisters were standing around the pair, 
hugely enjoying rich cakes which were 
evidently the remnants of a feast celebrat- 
ing his safe return. 

“All right,” Cascardo acquiesced. 
“Mother, take the children and go in the 
next room.” 

For an instant she hugged the boy 
tightly to her and seemed as if about to 
rebel at the order. The habit of obedience, 
however, was too strong. She let the boy 
slip from her lap, gave him a final hug 
and kiss and departed. Automatically, 
she picked up from the table the soiled 
cups and saucers, and then turned back 
to thrust an exceptionally luscious piece 
of French pastry into Johnnie’s hand. 

Taking Cascardo to one side, for the 
first time I explained to him the peril of 
the little girl who had been kidnapped 
from Johnnie’s school. 

“We’ve got to get those people to-night.” 

I impressed upon him. “I have delayed 
so long for the sake of your Johnnie. 
We can surprise them if we act quickly.” 

He gave an inarticulate grunt, and 
nodded to Johnnie: “Tell him what he 

wants,” he ordered. 

I took the child between my knees and 
spoke to him very slowly. 

“Who brought you back here?” I 
asked first. 

“A man who found me crying near the 
Bridge, near the park with the clock in 
it,” he answered, with a little whimper. 
“Another man took me there in the car 
and left me.” 

“Tell me exactly what happened when 
the first man took you away. Think back 
and don’t miss anything,” I suggested. 
“Take your time.” 

“A man came to the school at recess and 
said he was my godfather and that Papa 
had told him to come and get me.” His 
dark eyes were full of horror, as he re- 
called the meeting. “But Papa didn’t tell 
him and he took me to a place where they 
gave me nasty medicine and whipped me 
with a big whip if I went near the win- 
dow.” 

“What sort of a place was it?” I asked. 

“ A PLACE where there was a lady 
+ * and two four-months-old twins, and 
a little girl, and then later another bigger 
girl who cried all the time. She was a 
big baby ! I didn’t cry. Anyway,” he 
amended, conscientiously, “I didn’t let 
them see me cry when they whipped me.” 

I recalled that the envelopes had been 
postmarked Harlem, Brooklyn, Jersey and 
Long Island. This led to my next ques- 
tions. 

“How did you go to the house where 
they took you?” Then, seeing him look 
puzzled at such a general query, I added : 


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True Detective Mysteries 

‘‘Did you go by subway or by the 
elevated ?” 

“Oh, no, we didn’t. We went all the 
way on the street car.” 

“And you didn’t take the ferry, or go 
under the ground?” I continued. He 
shook his dark, curly head. “Nor change 
cars ?” Again negative. 

Those answers eliminated Brooklyn, 
Jersey, and Long Island City. 

The man would naturally have taken 
him to the nearest car line. The school 
was located at Grove and Hudson streets. 
There are several car lines within a short 
distance. 

“Do you know' where Eighth Street is?” 

I asked. He shook his head. 

“Well, tell me somthing about the car 
you did take. How did it go — up a broad 
street?” Another negative shake. “Under 
an elevated?” 

This brought a bright sparkle to his 
eyes and he nodded his head. The Eighth 
Street cross-town car passes under the 
elevated. I would follow that route and 
see where it led us. 

“What did the place you got off at look 
like? Think, Johnnie. Did you go away 
over water?” I suggested. 

“No, but I’ll tell you,” he almost shouted. 
“Now I remember. We stopped near a 
big bridge. There was funny cars with 
cages in the middle and a man standing 
near the cage, and another man in front. 
When we got off the car I saw a beggar, 
and he asked for a penny and the man was 
mad at him, and says, ‘You rotten fake, 
you’re always here/ And, say, Mister, 
he was there again to-night. I saw him !” 

“And what else?” I prompted. 

“Well, then we walked along,” he said 
slowly, his full lips puckered in earnest- 
ness. “Then we came to a house with a 
brass railing on the stoop, and a candy 
store on the street floor. We went up- 
stairs. The man left me there with the 
lady with the four-months-old twins and 
the little girl. And there was a big whip 
there and nasty medicine. Another man 
used to live there, too.” 

T HE description was, of course, too 
vague for us to find the place without 
further aid from little Johnnie. I in- 
formed his father that, though it was two 
o’clock in the morning, it would be nec- 
essary for us to take the child along in 
order to identify the house where he had 
been detained. With nothing more than 
an inarticulate mutter in Italian, he fetched 
the boy’s cap and told him to go with 
us. 

Johnnie was quite excited when we en- 
tered a cab. I took along with us four de- 
tectives, and directed the chauffeur to 
drive us to Goerck Street near the 
Williamsburgh Bridge. 

This bridge, which joins Manhattan to 
Brooklyn, is the only one which has “cars 
with little cages in the middle and a man 
in front.” 

Arriving at our destination, I ordered the 
cabman to wait for us. We took Johnnie 
up the south side of the street, but he 
failed to recognize the house. 

Johnnie was a bright youngster, but he 
was no prodigy. The peculiarities of the 
neighborhood where he was and had men- 
tioned were such as would impress an alert 
boy of his age — always on the lookout for 
something strange. He had never before 


seen a car with a “little cage in the center,” 
nor was he accustomed to seeing houses 
which had brass railings ; a candy store is 
always a vivid landmark in a child's eyes, 
and a beggar is a rare sight. 

We crossed over to the other side of 
the street and here we had better luck. 
Near the middle of the block we came on 
a candy store with a brass-railinged stoop 
leading to the entrance of the flats over 
it. 

“There’s the place,” Johnnie shouted. “I 
know it.” 

Johnnie was not certain on which floor 
the flat was. I knocked at a door at the 
head of the first flight of stairs. A burly, 
beetle-browed man, with dirt-begrimed 
face, answered. At a glance, I put him 
down as a laborer — an honest, bullyish 
sort of fellow. 

“I’m looking for a family who lives in 
this house,” I told him, inserting my foot 
in the opening. “They have two four- 
months-old twins. Do you know where 
their flat is?” 

“No, I ” the man started to answer. 

Questions are not welcome in that quarter 
of the town. Whether the one addressed 
is law-abiding or a criminal, each one at- 
tends strictly to his own affairs. 

However, I received assistance from an 
unexpected quarter. A shrill voice piped 
up from the dark interior. 

“Say, Mister, I know,” it said. “You 
mean the Roccos. They lived in the flat 
over us.” A grotesque little figure ap- 
peared alongside the man, pulling up a 
ragged pair of trousers over a tattered 
shirt. Bright, black eyes peered at me in- 
quisitively. “They moved around eleven 
to-night. I know ’cause I helped ’em.” 

“Where did they go, son?” I asked him. 

“I dunno,” he replied as he shook his 
head. “I was playin’ on the street with 
the other kids when a wagon with a white 
horse and two men come along. Them 
was the men.” 

T HANKING the kid, we mounted the 
stairs to the next floor. The door of 
the flat was unlocked. On entering, I 
found that the place was empty, true 
enough, but standing in one corner was a 
long whip such as “cabbies” used to carry, 
and on the mantelpiece was a bottle of 
medicine. 

We had come to the right place! The 
birds had flown, but I wasn’t floored. The 
men who had “covered” the livery stable 
where Barcia had housed his fake de- 
livery wagon had reported that the place 
was owned by two Italians and that they 
owned a single wagon with a white horse! 

I had left a detective seated in the back 
room of the drug-store — my temporary 
headquarters — and within half an hour I 
was back there after having returned 
Johnnie to his father. 

“Any reports come in?” I asked the 
detective. 

“Yes,” he answered. “Costagliola was 
caught beating it out of his store disguised 
as a tramp. The men who were keeping 
his place under surveillance arrested him 
on a trumped-up charge of burglary. 
Guidone was seen sneaking down the 
street shortly afterwards and he was 
pinched for carrying concealed weapons. 
Two stilettoes were found on him. That’s 
all so far.” 


True Detective Mysteries 


89 


“Did they have any money on them?” 
1 asked. 

"Yes, each had a big roll — but there 
were no marked bills 1” 

Not so good ! It was more imperative 
than ever to find the family which had 
kept Johnnie. 

Consulting past reports, I looked up the 
home address of the men who owned the 
stable. I ordered two of the detectives 
who were with me to pay a visit to these 
men and charge them with moving stolen 
goods from a down-town loft. In order 
to prove an alibi, I figured that they would 
come across with the address to which 
they had moved the Roccos’ furniture. 
They, we were convinced, knew nothing of 
the kidnapping crime. 

In brief, at five o’clock that morning I 
was ringing the bell, two short, and three 
long peals, which, according to Johnnie, 
was the manner in which Rocco and his 
pals usually announced themselves at the 
entrance to a tenement situated on Avenue 
B, between Fourteenth and Fifteenth 
Streets. 

A woman opened the door. Before she 
could close it, I had forced my way in. 
Her careworn face became deathly pale, 
when she realized what I might be there 
for. She hurried toward a back room 
from which came the outcries of infants — 
probably the twins Johnnie had mentioned. 
At that moment a beautiful young girl of 
about sixteen came running out of the in- 
ner room, and instantly the hard-faced 
woman grasped her. I certainly felt pity 
for that girl. 

“Oh, please, please take me away I” 
She begged. 

I managed to calm her and threatened 
to take the woman to the station house 
right away unless she kept her hands off 
the girl. 

My two assistants had now joined me, 


and in the silence of the early morning, 
we waited. 

“Zip-zip, zip-zip-zip!” tinkled the door- 
bell some twenty minutes later. 

I answered it, being careful to keep be- 
hind the door. The other men were hidden 
in the inner room. 

A BLITHE voice called out something 
in Italian. A man entered with two 
live chickens under his arms. He was 
followed by Antonio Fiscarelli, Frank 
Barcia and Joseph De Lucca. The last 
named, I knew* from reports, was a baker 
of No. — Elizabeth Street, who had a 
shady reputation and had been seen fre- 
quently talking with Fiscarelli. 

That’s all. In a twinkling we had the 
men handcuffed and a short time later, 
just as all honest folks were hurrying to 
work, we all drove in two cabs to Police 
Headquarters. 

De Lucca was identified by Johnnie as 
the man who had posed as his godfather 
and lured him to the fiat of Philip and 
Rosa Giglio. 

Each was held in $12,000 bail. The 
only one of the mob who managed to put 
up the money was Antonio Fiscarelli — 
Black Fox. He skipped his bail and es- 
caped to Italy. 

There were seven convictions in this 
case — only two less than the number 
arrested in the previous ten years. 

Subsequent investigations proved that 
kidnapping was not the only crime com- 
mitted by these "blackhanders.” Among 
their other activities were counterfeiting, 
bomb outrages, vendetta killings and 
blackmail. 

That we had actually broken up the 
kidnapping gang was proved by the fact 
that from that time on we have had only 
two such cases in the past thirteen years ! 


Into the Land of Happy Dreams 

(Continued from page 32) 


already broad nose. He drew his face 
back a few inches hesitatingly. Uncon- 
sciousiy I gripped the trigger of my re- 
volver a little tighter. 

“My pal am all right, too, Massa Shoe- 
maker,” broke in the colored man. 

The Shoemaker snorted like a pig and 
turned on his heel. 

Was he satisfied that I was a “right” 
guy? I couldn’t tell. 

Now the Shoemaker beckoned for the 
crowd to follow. At that moment the 
mysterious dim reflection of light ceased 
as suddenly as it had come on, and the 
darkness seemed more pronounced than 
originally. 

The colored man and I brought up at 
the rear of the line. Perhaps Inspector 
Scanlon and Special Officer Manning were 
following. If so, I wanted to be where 
I could do everything possible to cover up 
their movements. 

As we trailed The Shoemaker down the 
alley the colored man became talkative and 
told what he would do to any cop who 
dared to interfere with him getting his 
dope. He drew a razor out of his pocket 
and brandished it in front of him in 
illustrating just how he would carve 
up the officer. Obviously I couldn’t 


appreciate his boasting to any great extent. 

We didn’t proceed far before we turned 
off the alley into a still narrower one, lined 
with shacks of threatening blackness. 
There was no moon and the previously 
only partly clouded sky had now become 
entirely overcast, making the murk denser 
than ever. I doubted that Special Officer 
Manning and Inspector Scanlon would be 
able to follow us through this maze even 
if they had been fairly close behind us 
when we started. 

F INALLY The Shoemaker led the way 
into one of the shacks. Black as it was 
outside, it was even darker in there. Be- 
sides, a nauseating mustiness pervaded the 
place. 

The Shoemaker ordered the whole party 
to halt before the colored man and I had 
taken half a dozen steps. Then he lit a 
cigarette and with the glow of it provid- 
ing the only illumination, solicited each 
man in turn as to how many “decks” of 
dope he wanted, and took the money for 
each order in advance. 

I called for four “decks” and gave him 
four one dollar bills — each marked with 
the initials "B. P. D.” 

The Shoemaker disappeared. 



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Name Age. 

Address 

City State... 


For a long time thereafter the creepy, 
sinister silence of the place was broken 
only by an occasional whisper of a “hop- 
pie/* a lash of the wind, or the creak of 
an aged floor board. 

Then a tiny red glow appeared in the far 
corner of the barn and came toward us, ac- 
companied by the clank of a pair of feet. 

The man behind the cigarette was not 
The Shoemaker but Spike, his partner. 
And The Shoemaker had nothing on him 
for surliness. From a small package he 
began handing out “decks” of dope to one 
after another of the “hoppies.” As fast 
as he gave each man his allotment he 
ordered him to get out. When only two 
others besides the colored man and my- 
self remained, the negro hastily stepped 
forward and made an attempt to grab the 
package in Spike’s hand. Evidently the 
craze for the stuff was too much for his 
nerves to stand. Spike suddenly crumpled 
up the paper he had brought the drug in 
and threw it into the darkness. Then he 
gave me a hard look. 

“Waita!” he mumbled and made off 
across the floor in the direction from 
which he had appeared. 

What did this action mean? Had The 
Shoemaker suspected me because I was 
supposedly a friend of the colored man? 
Had he told Spike to look me over thor- 
oughly and sidestep handing me any dope 
if he thought I wasn’t a “right” guy? Had 
Spike finally decided I wasn’t a “right” 
guy as the time drew near to give me my 
allotment ? And did he crumple up the 
paper and throw part of the dope away 
with it as a play to get aw r ay while the 
going was good? Or was it just a gesture 
to cow the negro and incidentally show’ the 
rest of us that he had us at his mercy? 
I couldn’t decide. 

I thought of the possibility of search- 
ing for the crumbled paper to see if any 
dope did remain in it. But I decided that 
Spike might have only pretended to de- 
part and was waiting in the gloom to learn 
what I would do. Or perhaps The Shoe- 
maker had come back for that purpose, 
his entrance covered up by the commotion 
Spike made in distributing the drug. 
Realizing that silence would convict me, 
I joined the others in grumbling to make 
it appear that I w’as interested only in 
receiving the dope due me for the money 
I had paid. 

A couple of times in the next few min- 
utes I thought I heard the sound of a 
footstep in the direction toward which 
Spike had departed. A minute or two 
later I was sure a pair of feet stole along 
outside the wall of the shack. Then, 
mumbling that they were not going to 
wait there like dummies any longer, the 
two supposed “hoppies” w r ho were with 
the colored man and myself made off into 
the darkness. 

M V hopes sank. Now* I was practically 
convinced that they had remained be- 
hind to spy on us, and were moving off to 
be out of the W’ay of any violence that 
might start. I was sure that The Shoe- 
maker and Spike had uttered a verbal 
death warrant covering me and the colored 
man who had vouched for me. 

At any rate I was not going to be shot 
like a rat from behind. Clutching the 
trigger of my revolver more tightly, I 
backed the few’ steps between me and the 


nearest inner wall of the shack, expecting 
that w ith each step red flashes would strike 
at me from out of the gloom. 

The colored man followed me to the wall. 
“Boss, you all ain’t a-going’ too ?” he asked. 

“Whada y* t’ink I am,” I growded — 
“goin’ t’ leave them birds take me dough 
widout slippin’ me any hop. Guess again, 
buddy !” 

I had half a mind to take him into my 
confidence. But on second thought I 
changed my mind. 

More minutes dragged by — and nothing 
happened. I decided that instead of com- 
ing in after me, Spike and The Shoe- 
maker planned to wait for me to try to 
escape. It would be much easier to shoot 
me down in cold blood as I left the shack 
by the door. 

Well, these two would w'ait until Hades 
became a wdnter sports resort before they 
got me that way! 

Through a crack in the w’all of the 
structure I could see the glow’ of a street 
light seemingly a long way off. Would I 
ever live to walk under such an object 
again? The creepy wail of the night wind 
seemed to portend otherwise. I would 
have sold my chances for two cents. 

Suddenly the glow of another cigarette 
showed in the far corner of the shack. 
As it floated toward us, accompanied by 
the patter of feet, I waited with gaping 
mouth. Surely neither Spike nor The 
Shoemaker was fool enough to advance 
with the intention of attacking me behind 
such a give-away. But I braced myself 
against the wall, steeled for instant action, 
and waited. 

“I bringa da stuff,” a voice snarled when 
the glow r was within a few feet of us. 
“I walka like da hell to get her.” 

The voice was Spike’s. 

Elation quickened my heartbeats. My 
suspicions were then unfounded. He had 
merely run out of the stuff, carrying only 
a small quantity on him so he could easily 
dispose of it in the event of an arrest. Evi- 
dently Spike and his pal had decided, since 
I had not tried to make a getaway, that I 
w’as a “right” guy after all. Or was he 
merely attempting to allay my suspicion, 
with the intention of pumping lead at me 
when he got closer? 

Spike handed the colored man his 
“decks” first. Then he thrust three toward 
me. I put out my left hand, meanwhile 
gripping my gun with my right. 

Spike made no indication of hostility, 
and when he had transferred the “decks” 
to my hand, turned to hasten away. 

For the slightest fraction of a second I 
w’as tempted to thrust my gun against his 
hack and tell him that he was under ar- 
rest. But it w’as one thing to arrest him and 
quite another to get out of that shack and 
that locality alive with him. I w’as going 
to get out alive first, if I could, and do 
the arresting, if possible, afterward. 

“Say, bo, how do y* git out of this 
joint?” I asked, stepping after him. 

“Come,” he growled, after a moment’s 
hesitation, “me showa da way.” 

I followed him into the gloom, the col- 
ored man falling in behind me. 

A S we neared the door of the shack, I 
^ hugged very closely to Spike, de- 
termined that any of his gang should not 
pick me off without running great risk of 
shooting him also. My revolver was 



91 


almost pressing against him too. He 
would pay for any shot at me with his 
life. 

Nothing happened when we passed 
through the doorway, the colored man 
following behind. 

Now Spike turned abruptly to the left 
and began feeling his way along the wall 
of the shack. I did likewise, still keeping 
very close to him, the colored man still fol- 
lowing me. 

We walked by several shacks before 
we came to a junction of two narrow 
alleys. At this spot a dim light was re- 
flected from somewhere near us. 

“Thata da way,” muttered Spike as he 
pointed to one alley. “Me go disa one.” 
He pointed to the other. 

The time for action had arrived. I 
thrust the point of my revolver into his 
side and commanded in a loud whisper: 

“Stop a moment ! One move— one yell 
— and you’re a dead man !” 

From behind came gasps of terror ut- 
tered by the colored man. I turned 
slightly, half -expecting to see him lunging 
at me with his razor. He was lunging all 
right — but in the other direction. This 
move did not surprise me, for, as a rule, 
dope users are cowards and it is only im- 
mediately following their using the stuff 
that they become imbued with courage — 
courage what is artificial and false. I 
made no move to stop him. I was after 
drug peddlers, not users. 

Meanwhile, Spike protested : “Me no 

gotta da cash.” His eyes flashed savagely 
at me as he added, “Shoemaker do da 
collect.” 

“Never mind time-killing stunts,” I 
cautioned as I grasped him and pressed my 
automatic closer to his side. 

“You know I’m no stick-up man. Down 
this alley — you big stiff — quick! Lead me 
to the street!” I hissed. 

I motioned my head toward the alley 
down which he had indicated he intended 
to go. It was too good of him to direct 
me down the other one — where his pals 
could have shot at me to their heart’s con- 
tent while he moved safely in another di- 
rection. 

With a roar of protest he headed as di- 
rected, I following with my gun against 
his back. As we went along I felt of his 
pockets for weapons. To my surprise I 
could find no gun on him. But I did locate 
a stiletto with a blade six inches long. I 
shuddered at what would have happened 
in the vicinity of my heart if I had given 
him an opportunity to plunge it into me. 

S UDDENLY, from the direction of the 
alley which he advised me to enter, 
came loud shouting, followed by a fusilade 
of shots. In nervous haste I prodded 
Spike to make him quicken his pace. 
Meanwhile, I wondered if the colored man 
was breathing his last. 

As we hastened along I tried to keep an 
eye on the threatening blackness on either 
side of me, fearful that at any moment 
one or more of Spike’s pals might jump 
out to his rescue. As to danger from be- 
hind — I could not look back. And as to 
where we were going — well, I only hoped 
that Spike valued his life enough not 
to lead me into ambush. 

When we had gone some distance, the 
alley crooked around sharply and my eyes 
welcomed a email street lamp at the 


True D elective Mysteries 


further end. As we drew near it, I 
ordered : 

“Don’t forget ! Lead me to a street !” 

Then I slipped my revolver into my coat 
pocket, but continued to cover him with it. 
This I did so that if any of Spike’s pals 
spotted us when we passed the light they 
might be fooled into thinking I was merely 
accompanying him on some mission. 

We had gone only a few paces in this 
fashion when a powerful hand, seemingly 
coming from nowhere, suddenly grasped 
my coat collar with a savage grip. At 
the same instant another set of fingers 
clutched my right arm so I could not draw 
my gun. 

Caught — only a step or two from my 
goal ! Death — despite my every pre- 
caution ! This was the thought that 
flashed through my mind. Anyway, I 
would die fighting. 

“Let me alone!” I cried as I began to 
struggle to free myself. 

Lo, "another pair of hands jumped out 
of the night and caught Spike in the same 
fashion! Meanwhile, two stentorian 
voices announced that resistance would 
mean trouble and plenty of it. 

Amazed, bewildered that Spike should 
be grabbed too, I turned my head part way 
around to get a look at my assailant. 

Could I believe my eyes? Was some- 
thing glistening on his chest? Or was 
fate dangling false hope to tantalize me? 
At that moment the man exclaimed: 

“Sure, I’ll let you go — to the station 
house.” 

“Why, I’m an officer too,” I exclaimed 
with relaxation that thanked God I had 
fallen into the friendly hands of the law 
instead of the ghoulish hands of the drug 
gang. 

“Lika hell !” broke in Spike. “He’s 
holda me up. He’s gotta da gun.” 

“So he has,” declared the officer having 
me in tow, as he proceeded to relieve me 
of it. He added: “And I suppose if y’ 

had another sniff y’d change from a 
copper into Napoleon.” 

“But I am a policeman,” I insisted. 
“I’m Special Officer Welch of City Hall 
Avenue Station, Boston. I was arresting 
this man, Spike.” 

“T’hell you was !” roared the officer. 
“Tell that to the lieutenant when we get 
back to the office. I want to see him 
laugh.” 

“I can show you my badge,” I persisted. 
It was pinned onto my shirt, inside my 
coat and vest. 

“Save that for the lieutenant too,” he 
ordered. 

It was march to the nearest police box 
and ride in the patrol wagon for Spike 
and me? We landed in Station 3, Cam- 
bridge. 

Just as I was opening my coat and vest to 
show my police badge, in walked Inspector 
Scanlon and Special Officer Manning and 
other officers. They had The Shoemaker! 
He had been taken at his home some miles 
away, after escaping from the vicinity 
of the “meet.” 

Of course Special Officer Manning and 
Inspector Scanlon identified me immedi- 
ately. They told me that they had sent a 
hurry call for the two policemen since they 
expected that I would need help. But they 
had failed to give them my description. 
That was the reason the cops pinched me, 
thinking I was one of tfie peddlers. 




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True Detective Mysteries 

On The Shoemaker’s person was found 
every one of the marked dollar bills which 
I had given out, while a search of Spike’s 
clothes revealed a number of “decks” of 
dope. After they were safe in the hoose- 
gow, we had a good laugh all around. The 
officers who had arrested me, along with 
Spike, were Sergeant Le Marsh and Pa- 
trolman Walsh, both attached to that sta- 
tion. 

Some days afterward I entered a build- 
ing on Summer Street, Boston. 


“Going up!” called a voice from the 
elevator. 

Somehow that voice sounded strangely 
familiar. I looked at its owner. Behold, 
the colored man ! 

When I had introduced myself and he 
had recovered sufficiently to speak, I asked 
him : 

“How’d you ever get out of that place 
alive?” 

“Don’t ask me, boss,” he replied. “Ah 
jus* kept namin'. Das all ah know.” 


If He'd Let the Other Fellow's Girl Alone 

( Continued from page 28) 


behind his trunk. I went through each 
rather carefully to learn if he had marked 
any particular items. That lead failed. 
But I learned something else while read- 
ing headlines. Greensboro was within a 
short distance of a penitentiary, and the 
paper daily printed lists of the convicts 
admitted and released. 

I wondered if the dead man had been 
interested in some one in the prison; if, 
perhaps, he had done time there. Again 
I studied him. looking closely at his hands. 
I found something significant. The palm 
of the right was heavily calloused, as were 
the ends of the thumb and first finger. I 
knew the sign. All shoemakers developed 
such callouses through using an awl. 
Maybe Aarons had worked in the pen- 
itentiary shoe-shop. Perhaps, through the 
Star, he had been keeping watch to note 
when some other prisoner was liberated. 
Could the killer have been someone re- 
cently released? This thought recalled 
my previous guess that Aarons had not 
cried out because he had recognized the 
intruder. Who could it have been? Myles, 
the jealous suitor — the girl — or some un- 
known? I realized that I faced the tough- 
est job of my career. 

Leaving that angle of the case* tem- 
porarily, I continued my search. It re- 
quired more than an hour. Finally, with 
nothing new uncovered. I dropped to my 
knees and began studying the edge of the 
badly worn carpet. All tack-heads were 
dust covered until I reached a place near 
the dresser. There the tacks appeared to 
have been disturbed. Grasping the carpet, I 
tugged. It came up easily, revealing a 
piece of loose board. In a second I had 
this up and reached into the cavity beneath. 
I drew a prize — a large envelope in which 
were bills of large denomination amount- 
ing to nearly $10,000 and some sailing 
lists of steamships making French ports. 

B EFORE I could more than wonder if 
the large sum was the result of a 
crime, and if it was the “inheritance” 
which Aarons had talked about when try- 
ing to persuade the Swayne girl to go 
with him to Paris, a physician from the 
Medical Examiner’s office arrived. I gave 
him a rapid outline of the case, then told 
Regan to hold the boarders for further 
questioning and hastened to a telephone. 
With me I took the money, the steamship 
lists, the bundle of Stars, and the name 
and address of Aarons’ employer. 

Getting the Inspector, I learned that he 
was holding Myles for my orders. 

“Put him under arrest charged with 
suspicion of murder,” I said, “and have 


him locked up on a short affidavit until 
I can get to you.” 

“Is he the murderer?” 

“He may be, but I don’t think so.” 

“Say, what’s the big idea?” 

“I can’t tell you till I get down-town. 
But I've got enough to hold him in any 
court, so you needn’t be nervous. This is 
a tough case and needs careful handling. 
Do as I suggest, Bill, or the beans will be 
spilled. I think someone else is the killer, 
but I want him to think the police are 
certain it is Myles. Tell the reporters it 
was Myles — that he was jealous of Aarons 
over a girl. Above all, be sure to tell them 
that nothing belonging to the dead man was 
stolen. I’ll see you as soon as I have run 
down a lead. Rush somebody up to take 
Aarons’ fingerprints and photograph and 
get them to you on the jump. Then have 
somebody else come over and get the 
sworn statements of everybody here.” 

I went at once to the head of the firm 
for whom the dead man had worked. He 
stated Aarons’ commissions averaged from 
$35 to $50 a week. Also, that he was 
square on the books, having drawn no 
advance. He telephoned most of Aarons* 
customers and learned that he had bor- 
rowed from none of them. I left him con- 
vinced that the $10,000 I had found cached 
was loot from some crooked deal. Also 
that, more than likely, the killer had 
known of the money and had murdered 
Aarons because he would not give him all 
or a part of it 

The Inspector and I then went over the 
case to the smallest detail. He agreed 
with my every deduction. While we were 
talking we received some additional in- 
formation by phone from the Medical 
Examiner’s representative and the finger- 
print expert. The fellow had been killed 
with bare hands. But in searching the 
room, the murderer had used gloves. That 
meant two things: no prints of him, and 
that he was an experienced criminal. 

As a result of our conference. Inspector 
Sullivan agreed that I should hasten to 
Grcenboro and see what I could pick up 
there. While I was away he would see 
that the reporters did not obtain the real 
story and that Myles would be kept under 
lock and key. 

U PON leaving the Inspector, with a 
portrait of Aarons, his finger-prints, 
and copies of the Grcenboro Star in my 
pocket, I hurried home, packed a grip and 
by late afternoon was aboard a train 
headed for that town. 

In my own mind I felt certain I was on 
the right track — that my business in the 




93 


Middle West would not require more than 
a day or two at most, and that I soon 
would be back in New York ready to 
make my final plans to trap the killer. It 
had been my intention to go to the Star 
office and examine the files for several 
months. A check-up would show if any- 
one liberated six or seven months back 
had a last name beginning with “M” to 
correspond with the tattooed letter on the 
dead man’s arm — also, if anyone turned 
loose recently had come from the same 
city or town as the man with the “M” 
name. 

However, reflection convinced me that 
my shortest cut would be the penitentiary. 

If I failed to get all I wanted there, I 
might have to search the newspaper to 
learn why Aarons had purchased it reg- 
ularly. At the prison I explained my 
mission to the officials and showed them 
Aarons’ picture and finger-print. Almost 
immediately I learned that I had scored a 
bull’s-eye. Their guess was that the photo 
was that of Clifford Morris, of Greenboro, 
though the ghastly likeness of the dead 
man made it hard to identify. 

Then the real break came. 

The police, through a person who re- 
quested that his name be not mentioned, 
and who apparently had been a friend of 
Morris’ — but was no longer so — furnished 
a photograph that left no doubt in our 
minds as to whether Clifford Morris and 
Albert Aarons were one and the same 
man. The picture was that of Clifford 
Morris — the man who later was to become 
a jail-bird. It was somewhat old-fash- 
ioned in appearance and showed Morris 
standing as stiff as a ramrod, with one 
hand on a small stand on which was his 
derby hat. On the bottom of the picture 
were the words : “Moore’s Studio, 

Greensboro.” In addition to this, on the 
following day, the police located Morris' 
finger-prints in their files, and these finger- 
prints were identical with those of the 
dead man I had brought with me. This 
much settled, I now understood the tat- 
too mark on the under side of Aarons’ 
right arm, and the initial on the watch 
which the S wayne girl had said was his. 

A S told to me, Morris* story was this : 
He was twenty-eight years old. He 
had been born on a farm not greatly dis- 
tant, had been educated in the country 
schools, and qualified as a particularly 
bright pupil. When in his teens he had 
gone to Greensboro and begun to earn his 
living in a paint store. He had prospered, 
later becoming a town and country sales- 
man on his own hook, handling paints and 
hardware. But he had one failing — 
women. Several times he was in trouble 
because of escapades with some who were 
married. And more than once he had been 
thrashed by irate fathers and brothers of 
young girls who had been warned too steer 
clear of his company. 

Finally, four years previous, he had left 
his work and gone to Columbus with a 
burlesque actress, where the two had car- 
ried on a week’s celebration. Finally, 
broke, both were arrested for an unpaid 
hotel bill. He had settled, however ; the 
woman disappeared and he was not pros- 
ecuted. But almost immediately after- 
ward it was discovered that to the check 
which he had cashed to raise the funds 
to get himself out of trouble, he had 


True Detective Mysteries 


forged the name of one of his customers. 

He was tried, pleaded guilty and was 
given a short sentence as a first offender. 

In the penitentiary he had been assigned 
to the shoe-repairing shop and had become 
a really clever operator. This information 
clinched the thought which had come to 
me when I noted the callouses on his 
right hand. When he was released, some 
seven months before, he had returned to 
Greensboro and taken a room in a board- 
ing-house in a decidedly unsavory neigh- 
borhood. There he had remained several 
weeks. People were sorry for him, bought 
liberally of him at the little shoe shop he 
had opened, and he made considerable 
money. Suddenly, however, he announced 
that he was going to San Francisco to 
live, and disappeared. Nothing had been 
heard from him since as far as the author- 
ities knew. My information was the first 
inkling the officials had received that he 
had gone to New York instead of the 
West Coast. 

“You’ve told me a lot I wanted to find 
out about,” I said, “but there’s something 
more. Was young Morris on particularly 
friendly terms with any of the convicts?” 

“He was pretty well liked by all of 
those with whom he came in contact. But 
his one real intimate was the man who 
worked next to him in the shoe shop, 
Andy O’Connor, alias ‘The King.’ I be- 
lieve he achieved that title years ago, when 
he worked in the Chicago stock yards, be- 
fore he fell foul of the police.” 

“Was he a big, powerful fellow?” 

“Yes. Did you know about him?” 

“Not a word. But I guessed that much 
from something I uncovered in New York. 
Tell me all about him, please.” 

‘ \ ’CONNOR was considerably older 
than Morris, though he lied so about 
his age I don’t really know what it was. 
He was just a big brute, powerful as an 
ox, bad tempered and ugly when crossed. 
Several times we had to put him in sol- 
itary for beating up other prisoners. It 
wasn’t until Morris came and he was 
shifted to the shoe shop that he began to 
behave himself. I’m certain the younger 
man wielded a good influence, but I don’t 
think they’d ever met before. 

“O’Connor was a notorious crook ; a 
safe cracker and a jewel thief. However, 
he was clever and escaped with but one 
previous conviction. His last crime was 
committed about eight years ago, after he 
had been in Greensboro for some time 
working as a painter. He broke into a 
jewelry store there one night and cleaned 
out all the precious stones in the place, 
valued at about fifty thousand. A police- 
man saw him as he came out of the cellar 
next door, chased and shot him. But 
O’Connor made his getaway, and was in 
hiding for several days. His identity was 
fixed by a hat he dropped in his flight. 

“A general alarm was sent throughout 
the country and the police everywhere 
were asked to watch the pawn-shops for a 
certain stone, a diamond of a deep yellow 
color and oblong in cut. It was worth a 
lot. The jeweler had picked it up in 
Europe, and was keeping it to have it set 
in a bracelet for his wife on their twenty 
fifth wedding anniversary. 

“Finally, when everybody around this 
part of the country believed The King 
was thousands of miles away, a stool 



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True Detective Mysteries 

squealed that he was hiding in a boarding 
house in a bad quarter of Greensboro. The 
police surrounded the place and rushed it, 
taking O’Connor without a fight. His 
wound had pretty well healed and he 
probably was about ready for a getaway. 
He pleaded not guilty and stood trial. 
And, though he was offered a light sen- 
tence to tell where he had hidden his loot, 
he only laughed at the police and the dis- 
trict attorney. He was satisfied to take 
a stretch, knowing that when he came out 
there would be fifty thousand dollars 
worth of diamonds waiting for him/’ 

“Of course the place where he lived 
was searched?” I asked. 

“From cellar to garret. Nothing was 
found. In fact, there weren’t many hid- 
ing places; none the police didn’t think of. 
But he did his work well. Probably hid 
the stuff the first night, after losing the 
cop who shot him and before he went 
home.** 

Somehow, the Warden’s explanation 
didn’t sound good. I wondered if the 
Greensboro police had examined every 
possible hiding place. Then I got a hunch. 
“By the way, Warden, how long ago was 
this O’Connor turned loose?” 

“About a month back.” 

“Now, seeing that O’Connor and Morris 
were such good friends, did the older 
crook send the lad to the boarding house 
in the bad neighborhood where he had 
lived?” 

“He did just that, I guess. Anyway, 
Morris went there and remained until 
he left Greensboro.” 

E VEN though I had been anticipating 
such an answer, the reply made my 
heart beat faster. Right then I especially 
wanted to know why Morris had gone to 
that particular place, when dozens of 
others were open to him, including some 
of the houses where he previously had 
lived and whose proprietors would have 
been glad to welcome the “reformed” 
prison bird. But I made no sign of my 
real feelings. 

“I want the address of that place, War- 
den,” I said. “The fact that O’Connor 
sent him there indicates there are those 
at the house who are shady and who would 
not make it unpleasant for his pal, just 
out of prison. Also, there’s always one 
among that kind who’ll talk, for money. 
From such a one I may be able to learn 
if Morris went directly to New York. It 
is possible that O’Connor also went to the 
house when he ./as released.” 

“I can answer that — he did.” I was so 
tickled at that information I had hard 
work holding back a whoop. “We always 
try to learn where our released convicts 
go. As a reward for his better behavior, 
he was let out before he anticipated. 
O’Connor went to the old place for a week, 
then he too disappeared. I haven’t the 
slightest idea where he went from Greens- 
boro.” 

I thanked the Warden and hurried away, 
making directly for the town. I knew 
I was on a hot scent, and every minute’s 
delay annoyed me. But I got a thrill of 
satisfaction now and then by slipping my 
hand into my inner pocket where I had 
placed the portrait and finger-prints of 
O’Connor given me by the Warden. My 
reasoning, from what I had heard, was 
this. Despite the search made by the 


Greensboro police at the boarding-house 
following O’Connor’s arrest, the clever 
crook had succeeded in safely secreting 
his loot there. In prison he had taken a 
liking to Morris. The younger man was 
to be released first. O’Connor, wonder- 
ing if his cache still was safe and fearful 
that it might he stolen at any time, finally 
confided in his friend. Probably it was 
arranged that Morris was to search the 
hiding place, and if the diamonds were 
safe, notify O’Connor. Then he would 
guard the plunder until the older man was 
released, when there would be a division. 

But Morris had put one over on his pal. 
He had found the diamonds and run away, 
purposely trying to set up a blind trail by 
telling others he was going to California. 
In New York he had changed his name 
and gone to work at a straight job, realiz- 
ing such a course would keep people from 
looking upon him with suspicion. At his 
convenience, taking plenty of time so that 
he could get good prices, he had turned the 
diamonds into cash and hidden the pro- 
ceeds. The yellow diamond he probably 
had secreted in some safe place, realiz- 
ing that it was dangerous to try and dis- 
pose of such a peculiar stone, after its de- 
scription had been broadcast through the 
police. 

T HE time-table, I had found with the 
money, hinted at Paris as his ultimate 
destination. Why he had remained in New 
York longer than necessary to sell the 
loot could be accounted for by the story 
the Swayne girl had told me. He wanted 
her to go with him, and he delayed his 
trip in trying to persuade her to do so. 

But O’Connor had been released sooner 
than Morris had expected. It was reading 
an announcement of that fact in the Star 
which had upset him. He should have 
made his getaway then. But he risked his 
safety for the girl. And that had spelled 
his finish. The old crook had caught him 
dead to rights. In some manner he had 
traced him to New York, had come to him 
in the night and demanded the diamonds 
or their equivalent. Morris had refused. 
And the brutal O’Connor had killed him 
in the fury of his anger. 

Then he had searched the room and 
found nothing. He had left things fairly 
orderly, probably so that none would guess 
the place had been ransacked. No doubt 
he intended to return for another hunt. 
Quite probably he would go there again 
as a boarder and try to rent the murder 
room. If my deduction worked out, I’d 
get him. However, he wouldn’t do it at 
once. But his purpose would keep him 
around New York. And that was what 
I wanted. I had no desire to be compelled 
to search the whole United States for him. 

Then another thought held me. He had 
not only stolen the few dollars in Morris’ 
purse, but also his watch and chain. Why? 
Because he was desperately hard up. 
Probably the reason he had killed with his 
bare hands was because he couldn’t afford 
to buy a gun. What he had taken would 
permit him to exist until he could make a 
second try to locate Morris’ cache. I 
congratulated myself on having had the 
Inspector pass the word to the newspapers 
that nothing had been stolen or anything 
of value found. O’Connor would read 
this and be convinced that neither the dia- 
monds nor cash had been uncovered. Also, 



I thought It might give him courage to 
pawn the watch. I hoped want would 
drive him to that. For, if he disposed of 
the timepiece at a pawn-shop, my chances 
of landing him quickly would be doubled. 

Upon reaching Greensboro I first went 
to the office of the Star and looked over 
a file of the papers. Perhaps I was 
prompted by curiosity. More like by a 
desire to learn if my deduction had been 
correct. I found what I sought, the item 
printed when The King was released from 
the penitentiary. Most certainly that was 
what had worried Morris. I smiled in- 
wardly. If I had made one such good 
guess, it was reasonable to suppose the 
remainder of my reasoning to date had 
been sound. 

Then I went to the police and placed 
my cards, face up. They were most 
anxious to help and confirmed everything 
the Warden had told me. “O’Connor isn’t 
the only crook who has made that place 
his headquarters,” said the Chief. “It is 
kept by a former fence named Gregory, a 
vicious old reprobate who has done time. 
Still, it’s better to let it run. It’s one of 
the places we can go to first when search- 
ing for some criminal who is wanted out 
of town. I’ll send a man around with you 
who knows Greg. That will keep him 
from getting ugly and result in quicker ac- 
tion. I’ll also supply jou with flash-lights. 

I know the place, and you may want to 
search it.” 

A T the questionable boarding-house we 
met the proprietor; as thoroughly dis- 
reputable in appearance as described. My 
companion ordered him into his shabby 
living quarters, then said: “Here’s a man 

who wants to locate Andy O’Connor. He 
was here about a month ago, wasn’t he?” 
The old rogue’s eyes fairly snapped hate 
at the mention of The King’s name and his 
bloated face went red. “Yes, he were 
here — damn Jiis dirty hide — about that 
time, fer a week. I wish t’ hell I could 
peach where he is now, partic’ly if yer 
friend’s a bull. If ever I git my hands on 
’im again, I’ll bust his cussed knob.” 

“Shut up with that chatter, Greg. You 
don’t know where he went from here? 
“No.” 

“What’s your grouch against him?” 
“He came here, right from the pen, blast 
him. Hadn’t much more’n enough money 
t* pay his railroad fare. I took him in, 
trusted him fer his room, advanced money 
fer him to buy grub with while he was 
lookin’ fer a paintin’ job. He didn’t look 
much. Stayed in his room most o* the 
time. One day I was out. He must a 
got ravin’ drunk, the mutt, and went crazy. 
When I come back he’d vamped, stolen 
some o’ my stuff and pawned it. But that 
ain’t all. When I went to his room I 
found he’d busted up all the furniture, 
torn the mattress apart, ripped up the 
flooring, even took a big shelf out o’ the 
closet and split it to bits — usin’ my tools 
from the cellar to do it, damn him.” 

His words gave me a jolt. I felt certain 
I had the solution of the entire case in 

my hands if “Listen to me,” I broke 

in. “What did you do with all the stuff 
O’Connor broke up? 

“Do with it? What could I do with 
it? Threw- it in the cellar back there. 
All it’s fit fer’s to burn up, soon’s winter 
comes.” 


True D elective Mysteries 

“Let me see it.” 

“Why?” 

“Do as he tells you.” snarled my com- 
panion, giving Greg no gentle push. 

The cellar was dark and fairly littered 
with truck of all kinds. Only a wheezy 
gas jet lighted it. I snapped on my flash, 
moved it around until the man indicated a 
corner in which was a great pile of broken 
furniture and spliiltered wood. I picked 
up a piece of the latter, about an inch 
square and very heavy. Examining it, I 
noted something which made me catch my 
breath. 

“Take him out and keep him,” I said 
to my companion. “I want to look this 
stuff over.” 

The instant they were gone, I turned on 
my second flash and set them so as to 
make one great circle of light. Then I 
went to work, dragging out every bit of 
wood corresponding in length to the one 
I first had picked up. It took time, but 
when placed side by side they fitted, form- 
ing what I knew f had been the heavy closet 
shelf to which old Gregory had referred. It 
had been split up with a hatchet, not a 
single stick being more than an inch 
square. 

B UT the thing which interested me most 
was a peculiar circumstance that had 
caught my attention when I glimpsed the 
first stick. That was that, probably years 
back, holes had been bored partly through 
the wood with an auger, then puttied up 
and painted over to make the shelf ap- 
pear as though it never had been dis- 
turbed. A reason for this fixed itself in 
my mind. O’Connor had lived in the place 
at the time of the jewel robbery. He had 
made the half -holes. 

Had he also hidden the diamonds there, 
puttied them over and done the painting? 
I’d have staked my pile that he had. 
Probably he’d planned the robbery long in 
advance and had worked as a painter for 
the time being so as to have everything 
handy to do the job without exciting sus- 
picion. 

But the putty had been dug out of every 
hole. 

Taking up a piece of the wood with two 
holes in it, I held it close to the lights. 
Then I got a fresh kick. The hatchet had 
split the holes directly in half. Some of 
the putty still remained around the sides 
and at the bottom. And, beyond question, 
there were two kinds of putty. With 
fingers which actually trembled I opened 
my knife and began picking at the putty. 
That which had been placed at thi bottom 
was almost as hard as stone. I could 
easily push the point of my knife into 
that above. 

Right there I held the answer to most 
of the case. Morris had taken down the 
shelf, cut out the putty with which The 
King had plugged the holes, pocketed the 
gems, filled them with new putty, repainted 
the shelf and put it back in place. By so 
doing, none would know of his act — until 
O’Connor came and made his search. It 
w-as possible that, in taking out the stones, 
he had followed The King’s orders. But 
he probably had not been instructed to re- 
paint the shelf, merely to get rid of it 
after obtaining the diamonds, then go to 
some place where it had been agreed they 
would meet after the older crook’s release. 
However, greed had overcome him. He 


95 



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had double-crossed his pal and covered his 
own crooked trail — for a time. 

I was just about to quit when I got a 
new hunch, one which gave me a full 
hour’s additional work. But it proved 
time well spent. With my knife I scraped 
the putty from each hole, practically every 
bit of it, even cutting into the wood. And, 
finally, I came upon what I had hoped. 
One cavity in which The King’s knife had 
not cut away all the putty. And in that I 
uncovered the only diamond Morris had 
left — the oblong yellow stone of which I 
had heard. That explained why it had not 
been pawned. Had Morris been more 
thorough he might have recovered and 
pawned the stone, thereby causing his ar- 
rest and preventing the murder. And had 
O’Connor been more thorough he would 
have found it and kept me from a sure 
clue, one bound to send him to the chair, 
once I got my hands on him. 

I HAD accomplished far more than I 
had expected, and at once returned to 
Greensboro Police Headquarters with my 
companion. There I gave him and the 
Chief one of the big surprises of their 
lives by turning over the yellow diamond, 
explaining how I had obtained it and how 
I had figured the case to date. It was 
placed in the safe until I should need it 
for evidence. By night I was on a train 
speeding for New York. But I didn’t 
sleep much. The trail was too hot. After 
many hours of thinking I had my plan for 
the future all set. 

The next evening I was quartered with 
Inspector Sullivan for hours, detailing my 
adventures during my absence. He was 
tickled pink, then asked the next move. 

“When the reporters drop in later to 
learn what’s doing, I want you to plant 
something on them. Tell them that a 
relative of the murdered man, who took 
possession of his effects, has made an im- 
portant discovery. That, under some old 
clothing on a closet shelf, he found a little 
box in which was a yellow diamond of 
considerable value. You can hipt that it 
is believed at the boarding-house that 
Aarons — stick to that name — had saved 
and purchased the gem, intending to have 
it set into a ring for a girl with whom he 
had been keeping company. I’ll rush up 
to the boarding-house and tell Mrs. Sim- 
mons to let nobody talk to reporters who 
may come snooping around.” 

“I’ll do it, Mike, and I’ll make it so 
strong that the boys will be certain to give 
it good space. But what’s the idea?” 
“It’s a cinch O’Connor is reading every 
line about the murder. This diamond yarn 
will get to him strong. His thought will 
be that Morris still had the diamonds hid- 
den in his room when he killed him — se- 
creted in places which he overlooked in his 
hurry. This will make him crazy to get 
back to that room and make another hunt 
for the rest. He’ll want to do it as a 
boarder. He won’t dare take chances of 
breaking in again. My big hope is that 
he’s broke, has spent the money he stole. 
If so, he’ll have to pawn the watch to 
make a payment down to Mrs. Simmons. 

“I’m going to show her O’Connor’s pic- 
ture, tell her to let him have the murder 
room if he comes to her place and try to 
notify you by phone. Another thing. 
Get word to all the pawnbrokers to be 
doubly watchful to note if that watch is 


pawned, have the man followed and notify 
you at once.” 

The Inspector carried out my scheme. 
The papers printed the yellow diamond 
story. I arranged with Mrs. Simmons to 
help us. After that, for two days, things 
were dead quiet. Then matters broke 
wide open with a bang. 

I had just dropped in to question Sul- 
livan the third day, around eight in the 
morning, when the first flash came. A 
young fellow had pawned a watch which 
appeared to be the one we wanted. The 
pawnbroker had sent a clerk to trail the 
lad. The latter had turned the ticket and 
money over to a man who answered 
O’Connor’s description. After giving the 
youth a dollar, he had hurried away. The 
clerk had followed the lad and turned him 
over to a policeman, who had taken him to 
the nearest station. 

Pawn-shop and station were in a dis- 
tant part of the city. I hurried there. 
At the pawn-shop I took possession of the 
watch, certain it was the one I wanted. 
Then I went to the station. The youth 
was innocent enough and already had sum- 
moned people who backed his story. He 
was out of work and very hard up. A 
man had offered him a dollar to pawn the 
watch. That was all there was to that 
angle of the case, except that he identified 
the picture of O’Connor as the man in 
question. 

I telephoned Sullivan. He had some 
thrilling information. A man giving the 
name of James Wilson, but resembling 
O’Connor, had taken the murder room, 
paid a week’s rent, but had gone away, 
stating he must get his clothing and would 
be back by night. He surely had worked 
fast. But, having taken possession of the 
room, he probably had felt safe in post- 
poning the search until night, when he 
could work without danger of being dis- 
turbed. 

I N jig time I was racing for the house in 
a taxicab, accompanied by the boy. He 
was a wise one and was only too anxious to 
help the police, particularly as I promised 
to get him a job. I made a stop at the 
104th Street Station. Feretti was there 
in bed. Waking him, I told him sufficient 
so he’d know what was expected of him, 
showed him O’Connor’s picture and told 
him to don civilian clothing. 

The fact that The King had said he 
would not be back till night did not keep 
me from the neighborhood of the board- 
ing-house. He might have been stalling. 
Feretti and I, both with our guns in our 
outer pockets, and the lad, kept an all- 
day watch on the boarding-house from a 
vacant flat across the street. He had not 
appeared by dusk, and I became anxious. 
Then we took to the street, I at the cor- 
ner below the house and Feretti and the 
youth in the darkened doorway at the one 
above. It was a tedious wait, until nine 
o’clock, before we got a rise. Then the 
others hurried up. The lad had seen the 
man for whom he had pawned the watch 
enter the boarding-house. 

Sending the youth back to the station, 
Feretti and I went to the place. Mrs. 
Simmons opened the door. I carried the 
key to Myles’ Room. My plan was for 
Feretti to go through there and cover 
O’Connor from the fire-escape. I would 
gain admission to The King’s room. I 


97 


True Detective Mysteries 


gave him five minutes* start, but told him 
not to make a move until he saw me in- 
side. As we separated, we could hear 
some one moving about in the room. 

Five minutes, exactly, and my watch 
•went back into my pocket and my gun 
came out. I rapped. Instantly all sound 
ceased. I tried the handle. The door 
was locked. I stooped. The key was in 
the lock, blocking my view. But a light 
burned. I rapped again. Not even a 
whisper. 

Drawing back, I hurled myself against 
*the door. The old lock splintered, the 
door banged open and I all but fell inside. 
As I regained my balance, I noted Feretti 
crouched in the window, gun pointed. 
O’Connor was bent low beside the dresser, 
a foot-long jimmy clutched in his hand. 

I moved toward him, my gun covering 
him. But The King was an old hand, 
ever resourceful. In a flash he hurled 
the steel bar, there came a crash of glass 
and the light was gone. The next minute 
I felt as though I’d been struck by an 
elephant. O’Connor was upon me, swing- 
ing both great fists and kicking. I man- 
aged to grasp him, then knocked him down 
with the butt of my gun. 

“Where are you?” came in a roar from 
Feretti, quite close. 

“Here!” I yelled. I reached down, but 
O’Connor wriggled from beneath my 


fingers. “Look out! He’s slipped me!” 
1 cried. The next second a dark form 
blocked the window leading to the fire- 
escape. There were two flashes, two re- 
ports. The shadow appeared to crumple, 
there came a sort of gasping groan, fol- 
lowed by a dull thud upon the floor. 

We both leaped upon it and held fast — 
until a light was brought by one of the 
babbling, excited throng which came rush- 
ing to the room. But we need not have ex- 
erted ourselves. King O’Connor was 
dead. One bullet had pierced his spine at 
the base of the brain. The other had im- 
bedded itself in the framework of the 
window. I never knew which had shot 
straight. Later we proved O’Connor’s 
identity, and there remained no doubt 
whatsoever but that he had killed Clifford 
Morris, alias Albert Aarons. 

That’s about all of the story. Except 
that young Myles showed that he was 
made of the real stuff. Instead of being 
sore because I’d locked him up, he came 
to Headquarters and made me promise 
that I’d be present at his wedding to the 
Swayne girl. I made good and took 
Feretti along. 

He’s a bright lad, that Feretti. I’m 
going to show him some of the ropes. 
Some day you’re going to hear more of 
him or I’m no judge of good detective 
material. 


Revealed Through a Needle's Eye 

( Continued from page 17) 


I grin and open my eyes wide I look like 
a nit-wit, to tell the truth. I dance well. 
I am strong on wise-cracking. Girls read- 
ily accept me as being one of those fellows 
with a salary from God-knows- where, 
who hang around Broadway resorts and 
are good for theater tickets, dinner checks 
and an occasional five-dollar bill. 

M Y quarry was fond of the Woodland 
Dancing Academy. I trailed her 
there on a Monday afternoon, and got one 
of the hostesses to introduce me in the 
regular way. “Mrs. Dudley” was the 
name given me, all right, and I soon dis- 
covered that her first name was Pearl. I 
called myself Timothy Davis. 

By being light of weight mentally, en- 
tertaining, and appreciative of her charms, 
yet not too susceptible, I set out to make 
a hit with Pearl, and I succeeded. I had 
five dances with her. When we parted, 
I confined myself to asking carelessly 
whether she would be at the Woodland 
the next day. She said, “Yes.” I met her 
again, and after we had danced a bit I 
took her to a speak-easy. I used a twenty- 
dollar bill to pay for the drinks, and to 
try her out I divided my change with her, 
remarking that she might find it useful for 
taxi fare. She accepted the graft, which 
proved to me that she was the kind who 
did not scorn chicken-feed and therefore 
would be all the easier to please. 

A visit from Duffy intervened, but the 
third time I saw Pearl at the Woodland I 
asked whether I might call at her home. 
She stalled a bit. I think she would have 
refused if she hadn’t begun really to like 
me. Finally, she made an engagement for 
Saturday night at 9.30. I solemnly wrote 
down the address of the Hampshire and 


the telephone number. But I assured her 
there’d be no phoning to change the date 
on my part. 

The moment I arrived, I glanced about 
the comfortable little two-room suite and 
asked whether “friend husband” was ex- 
pected. She replied that he was out of 
town, that he was a traveling salesman 
and was quite frequently out of town. I 
then produced a bottle from my overcoat 
pocket. As she took it from me and 
opened it, her wink and sly smile showed 
that she liked my informality. A certain 
wary defensiveness in her manner, how- 
ever, gave me my cue. Instead of try- 
ing to make love to her, I was strictly 
the pal. I knew that these gold-digging 
girls are often fed up with the emotional 
demands of men. They enjoy masculine 
company, and they like to have it on a 
free-and-easy basis. But they don’t want 
to pay the usual price for it. They’re sick 
of paying prices. I can’t say that I blame 
them. 

P EARL visibly blossomed out the mo- 
ment she realized that I didn’t even in- 
tend to try to kiss her. Her chatter be- 
came confidential. She told me that she 
was from Cleveland, that she had come to 
New York to go on the stage and that 
lack of success rather than love had in- 
duced her to “marry.” She produced 
childish photographs of herself which had 
been made in Cleveland, so I knew she 
was telling the truth and was not to be 
classed as an expert crook. I avoided 
questioning her. The essential details 
were certain to be supplied by her own 
lips in due time. 

When I said good night, she urged me 
to call again. I felt quite astonished that 



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True D elective Mysteries 


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a girl of her simple type could have 
proved so expensive to George Duffy. The 
regular Broadway sport could have main- 
tained her for $150 a week. Where had 
the $100,000 from the Polish Hospital 
Fund gone? I began to think that Pearl 
had had only a small cut of it. But I 
had a whole lot yet to learn about Pearl! 

During the course of two lazy evenings 
and one afternoon in her apartment, she 
confessed to me that Duffy was not really 
her husband. She believed the story he 
had given her about himself, however, 
even to thinking that he was a traveling 
salesman and unmarried. His life away 
from her was plainly of little importance 
in her calculations. She needed his finan- 
cial help, she said, and managed to con- 
vey the impression that he did not give her 
enough money. I expressed my sym- 
pathy, and she promptly asked me to lend 
her a hundred dollars. 

“Why, Girlie,” I answered, yawning, 
“I haven’t seen a hundred all in one piece 
since I cleaned up on a horse last March. 

I make sixty a week, and it’s mostly spent 
by Monday morning. If ten’s any use to 
you, you’re welcome.” 

“Excuse me, Tim,” she muttered ner- 
vously. “I might have known.” But she 
took the ten. 

O N another occasion, she declared that 
she had a great purpose in her life. 

I felt it must be connected with money, 
and asked her whether that were so. She 
shrugged the question aside, not too con- 
vincingly. But she repeated the main fact, 
with a sudden leaping flame in her eyes 
and a clutching gesture of her hand to 
her breast. She was certainly working 
out as a queer one. 

I had her confidence, which was of great 
value. The case, however, was not mov- 
ing along as rapidly as I had hoped. It 
was necessary for me to see the girl and 
Duffy alone together at close range and to 
listen in on their conversation. A single 
room next to Pearl’s suite was vacant. I 
decided to take it. But I did so through 
one of my operatives, who signed the 
lease and turned the key over to me. 

Early in the afternoon of a day when 
Duffy was expected, I slipped into my 
own room and started on the ungentle- 
manly job of boring two holes through the 
partition. If any one thinks that is an 
easy job in a modern apartment house 
with thick stuccoed walls, let him try it. 
A special brace-and-bit that draws back 
the detached rubbish, is required. Even 
so, the greatest care must be exercised to 
prevent flakes of plaster from falling on 
the far side. The peep-holes have to be 
trimmed with a knife of razor-blade sharp- 
ness. They stand out more starkly than 
would be the case in a wooden wall. How- 
ever, I had already taken my bearings and 
managed to place the holes so that they 
came out just above a framed picture in 
Pearl’s living-room. The holes slanted 
downwards. When I stood on a chair and 
peered with both eyes, I commanded a 
view of the room, over the edge of the 
picture. 

Pearl came in at 4.15 and hurried to 
make herself look as pretty as possible, 
anticipating Duffy’s arrival which was at 
4.30. Standing on the chair, I watched 
them through the peep-holes. It was like 
looking through a needle’s eye. 


The scene I witnessed remains unique 
in my memories of gold digging, that 
modern feminine variation of the con- 
fidence game. 

D UFFY looked tired and despondent. 

though his clamped mouth still tried 
to keep up the bluff of courage. Taking off 
his hat and coat as he entered, he stood in 
the middle of the room, his eyes fixed with 
a hungry intensity upon Pearl. 

She at once sidled over to him. “Have 
you got that money for your baby?” she 
asked, smiling artificially. 

“How often must I tell you that I don’t 
regard you as ‘my baby.' You’re not a 
child to me. You’re my sweetheart, or 
nothing,” he said. 

She pouted and stiffened. “Then you 
shouldn’t think anything too much to do 
for me. You promised me a thousand 
dollars to-day. Have you got it?” 

“Five hundred is the best I can do.” 
“It was to be a thousand.” Her voice 
rose sharply. “You can’t expect me ever 
to love you, if you’re stingy with me. I 
hate stinginess.” 

“That’s unfair, Pearl. I’ve given you 
more money than I can keep track of in 
the past year. I can’t imagine what you’ve 
done with it.” 

“I’ve told you, haven’t I? I’ve kept my 
brothers in college. And I’ve paid for 
operations for my mother. They depend 
on me. And my clothes cost a hell of a 
lot. Oh, you make me tired!” 

Duffy drew out his puree and started 
to count some bills. The girl looked at 
them greedily, but the moment she saw 
what they amounted to, she turned on him 
scornfully. 

“Only five hundred?” cried Pearl. 
“You’ve got to give me more, or I won’t 
even let you kiss me!” 

“I’m broke. I’ve been borrowing money 
for you,” he complained weakly. But he 
did not resist when she set to work on his 
person, hunted through his pockets and 
took every cent she could find, except a 
twenty-dollar bill. 

“That’s enough to see us over this eve- 
ning,” she declared. 

As she started to turn away, he pleaded 
with an absolutely craven sentimentality, 
“I want to kiss you, Pearl. You promised 
you’d let me.” 

She threw a sneering, hostile look at 
him. Her lips were drawn into a rigid 
line as he took her in his arms, and she 
wrenched herself free as quickly as pos- 
sible. The shoulders of the poor fool 
humped. His eyes swam with tears. 

And so it went on. She treated him 
half-way decently only during the inter- 
ludes when he did not try to make love to 
her. I’d known theoretically that middle- 
aged men sometimes become madly in- 
fatuated with young women who don’t 
even pretend to care about them in return. 
But I’d not have credited a situation like 
the one described unless my own eyes and 
ears had proved it to me. Suddenly I 
understood that Pearl had been able to 
hold and to plunder Duffy for so long, 
because she had fed his craze for her on 
promises of greater intimacy which she 
had never fulfilled. He was the type with 
whom that sort of game would work. 

Later in the evening I got the final 
evidence that I was right. He brought 
up a question that was plainly an old issue 


99 


between them. He begged Pearl to marry 
him, and she wearily refused. 

Now, no man in Duffy’s circumstances 
is going to risk the crime of bigamy unless 
he is almost insane with thwarted desire. 
I proceeded to some interesting deductions. 
Grasping and yet penurious, the girl was 
trying to save a definite sum of money for 
a definite object. Most of her loot from 
the Polish Hospital Fund was therefore 
intact, and might be recovered. But Duffy 
would be discarded the moment he had 
been wrung dry, and Pearl would dis- 
appear. I must work fast. 

Immediately after she had told me she 
was from Cleveland, I had sent an oper- 
ative to that city to ferret out her ante- 
cedents. The name of the photographer 
on the youthful pictures she had shown 
me had been the only clue. I had already 
received a meager report from my man. 
Pearl’s maiden name was Schmitt. But 
she and her family had left Cleveland six 
years before, and no one could say where 
they had gone. 

T HE morning following the scene with 
Duffy, I visited the Wheat Exchange 
Bank where Pearl had her money and 
learned that her account was in the name 
of “Pearl Schmitt.” This was bad news. 
The cash had been given to her without 
receipts to show for it, presumably, and 
she had made her deposits under her legal 
name. I saw no way to force her to dis- 
gorge. 

But the detective game is full of 
surprises. I was nearer to a solution 
of the problem than I had any reason to 
hope. 

I went to see Pearl once more in my 
role of confidential pal, and for want of 
a better opening I asked her carelessly 
why she did not marry Duffy? There 
was little danger that she would suspect 
I had overheard his plea to her. The 
question was a perfectly natural one, and 
her frank response to it showed that it had 
been much on her mind. I could not have 
chosen a luckier approach. 

“Do you think it would be a good move, 
Tim?” she asked seriously. 

“Depends upon what you mean by 
‘good,’ Pearl.” 

“Well — I can’t bear the man near me. 
But I need about ten thousand more 
from him. He’s getting to be tight, but 
if I married him, maybe he’d come 
across.” 

“Could you stand him for the rest of 
your life?” 

“God, no! I’d leave him in a week. 
Guess I could hide out all right.” 

“Why would you need to hide?” 

S HE hesitated. “I might as well tell 
you the truth, Tim. I’m already mar- 
ried,” she said. “It would be bigamy to 
take on this boob, but I’m almost readv to 
risk it.” 

The breath was knocked clear out of 
me. Why had I never suspected this pos- 
sibility? But I kept a straight face and 
took advantage of her mood. “Why do 
you need the money ?” I asked. 

“My husband’s in prison,” she answered. 
“He was cashier of a bank in Milwaukee. 
He took a thousand dollars to buy nice 


True Detective Mysteries 

things for me, and they caught him and 
sent him up for five years. After he was 
in jail, the bank discovered another short- 
age he hadn’t had anything to do with 
and blamed it on him. It’s seventy-five 
thousand. If he can make it good, the 
bank won’t prosecute him again. If he 
can’t, he’s to be arrested the minute he 
steps out of the coop next month. You 
can guess how quickly he’ll be railroaded, 
if that happens.” 

“You’ve been collecting the seventy-five 
thousand to save him, Pearl?” 

“Sure.” 

In all my experience with crime, I’d 
never run into a more ironical tangle. 
Here was George Duffy, married and the 
officer of a bank, embezzling charity funds 
and being tricked out of them by the wife 
of the crooked cashier of another bank. 
Both were willing to be bigamists. Duffy 
was an infatuated weakling, and Pearl’s 
devotion to her husband left her con- 
scienceless toward the rest of mankind. 
Of the two. I’d have preferred to see 
Duffy punished. Yet my duty to Mr. 
Armstrong of the Union Finance Trust 
Company was to trap Pearl. 

I didn’t feel proud of myself when I 
argued her craftily into the idea that the 
chances of being detected at bigamy were 
not so great as she feared. Without ac- 
tually advising her to take the step, I gave 
her the needed encouragement. When we 
parted, she told me she had decided to do 
it. 

Two days later, I shadowed Duffy and 
Pearl to the marriage bureau in the 
Bronx, where they obtained a license 
under the names of Dudley and Schmitt. 
They could not be married the same day, 
which was what I had figured on. I ob- 
tained a certified copy of the entry made 
in the license clerk’s book, waved this 
in Pearl’s face as soon as I cornered her 
alone, and told her the whole story of 
my connection with the case. 

“By swearing out this license, you com- 
mitted a perjury for which you could be 
sent to jail for a long term. Hand over 
the graft you’ve had from Duffy, or I’ll 
arrest you,” I bluffed. “You won’t help 
your husband any by going to prison. 
Better come across, and keep your free- 
dom at least.” 

She came across. I recovered §65,000 
of the Polish Hospital’s money. Arm- 
strong compelled Duffy to mortgage his 
home and pay in §10,000 more. The bal- 
ance was made good anonymously by the 
Union Finance Trust Company. 

T HE embezzler was then discreetly let 
out of his job, and other banks were 
warned against employing him. He was 
soon destitute, and he ended by committing 
suicide. 

The upshot of the affair would have 
been far different, had it been handled by 
the Police Department. There would 
have been a tremendous scandal, and Duffy 
undoubtedly would have gone to jail. 
Thereby, justice would have been served. 
The woman, however, would have escaped 
with her loot. 

I leave it to the reader to decide whether 
I should je pleased or ashamed of 
my record as a private detective in this 
affair. 



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True Detective Mysteries 

Confessions of a Confidence Man 

( Continued from page 47) 


times before. “Jim, I can’t bear to have 

you so cold when But never mind,” 

and as if to hide a slip she had made, she 
turned quickly and entered the nearest 
elevator. 

There was that sincerity again, that 
demonstration of affection. Con worker 
she was ; that I now knew. But — I 

couldn’t place that show of affection. 
There is no telling where a woman’s heart 
will lead her. I said to myself as I left the 
Shelbourne for home. 

Indeed, I was well pleased with the eve- 
ning. The game was on. I was after the 
money I had lost — maybe more. She was 
after more money from the boob she took 
me to be — and she was after what else? 
Could I believe her when she said she was 
after me? 

I got into bed, impatient for to-morrow, 
impatient for the next move in the battle 
of wits. 

On the face of it, I should look around 
and find a man whose passion for art 
would make him wish to pay a fortune to 
possess an original work of art. Genuine 
collectors pay no attention to the fact that 
what they possess has been stolen. I knew 
that if I made a job of finding such a 
person, I could do so. But this I neglected. 
And my reason for letting the buyer slide, 
so far as my finding him was concerned, 
was simply this : I knew that the scheme 

of the con men working on me made it 
necessary for them to supply me with the 
buyer. In order that their scheme would 
succeed, the “buyer” had to be one of 
them, working with them 

The next evening I saw Nell again, 
taking her to a good dinner and this time 
for a drive through the Maryland hills by 
moonlight. And before the evening was 
over, I said to her: 

“You have my curiosity aroused over 
this Flintt painting. More than likely I 
can make money on it. Would you have 
any objections to my seeing it?*' 

“Not at all. Only I’d have to make 
arrangements with the men who have it. 
You must understand, Jim, that these men 
are in fear of arrest. They are afraid to 
take chances on a stranger, and, after all, 
the only thing they have that vouches for 
you is my word.” 

“Who wouldn’t trust a girl like you?” I 
inquired, taking advantage of the chance 
to flatter her and so keep up my role. 

She smiled. “I’ll have to let you know. 
Will I see you to-morrow night, Jim?” 

“Certainly. I’m getting to enjoy these 
evenings with you. Since I quit the track 
(which I had) the only bright spot in my 
day is seeing you.” 

W ITH that understanding we parted. 

And the second day following I met 
Nell at the foot of Capitol Hill. 

There I was asked to ride inside a 
closed automobile, one of the two-cylinder 
variety all the rage then. It made about 
ten miles an hour and sounded like a steam- 
pump. The blinds were drawn, so that no 
light penetrated inside ; hut mainly so that 
persons riding in the car couldn’t see out. 

Nell and I were the only occupants, be- 
sides the driver. When 1 had entered the 
machine, I had taken a close look at the 


man at the wheel, but had failed to recog- 
nize him. He was broad-shouldered, and 
dark. The only mark I noticed about him 
particularly was the unusual growth of 
thick hair on the backs of his hands. 

We must have ridden for fifteen min- 
utes, when the car pulled up to a stop. 
After a moment the door was opened from 
outside, by the driver. He stood waiting 
for us to step out. 

Nell got out first, and I followed. We 
were in front of a tumble-down building 
that once was a warehouse, possibly for 
tobacco. No street lamps were near so 
that I could place the location by signs on 
lamp-posts. The street stretched in both 
directions, with no mark that would allow 
me to fix its location ; the houses on both 
sides were of the warehouse, produce 
variety. I thought we were near some 
shipping point or freight terminal; but 
beyond that I could not tell where I had 
been taken. 

“You understand that the utmost pre- 
caution must be taken. The boys are 
scared.” This from Nell. “Just go in, 
Jim, and act natural. You have nothing 
to be afraid of. But I must tell you that 
a pair of guns will be covering you, in case 
you make a move that can be interpreted 
as suspicious. Come now.” 

I followed while the chauffeur led the 
way through a small door that was part 
of a large sliding door, the kind that used 
to be in service on stables and now are 
seen at garage entrances. Inside the door 
was a large space, now bare of furnishings 
and equipment of any sort. 

On the left the chauffeur mounted a 
narrow stairway. I went after him, Nell 
coming up behind me. In different circum- 
stances I should have been on the alert for 
an attack from the semi-darkened stair pit, 
possibly for a shot; but I knew that who- 
ever was here, was after my money, 
not me. 

A T the top of the second flight of stairs 
k. we turned toward the front of the 
house. Here was a room that still showed 
signs of being used as a storeroom for 
hay and grain, for strands of hay and 
scatterings of oats littered the wooden 
floor. 

In wooden chairs against one wall sat 
three men. In the dim light I couldn’t 
make out their faces ; but I could see that 
two of them had their right hands in their 
coat pockets — fingers on triggers, I was 
sure. 

“You want to see the goods, hey?” one 
of the three asked without ceremony. 
“The quicker you do, and get us our jack 
so we can do a lam, the better, mister. 
Here.” 

He walked over to a crate about five 
feet by four in size and lifted a blanket 
from one corner of it. By the light of a 
flash-light which he held in his hand I 
saw a gilt frame surrounding an oil-paint- 
ing of a landscape. 

“See? Here’s the guy’s monicker,” and 
the man with the flash-light trained it on 
the lower right-hand corner of the paint- 
ing, which stood on end, and where I 
looked for the name of the artist. I saw 
the name — and I saw enough to tell me 


101 


True Detective Mysteries 


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that the painting was a rank forgery. 
Stuyvesant Flintt had spelled his name just 
that way. The surname on the painting 
had one letter “t” missing, making the 
artist’s name Flint. 

“What a magnificent piece of work!” I 
said enthusiastically. “There’s the artist’s 
inscription and all. That picture’s worth 
its weight in gold to the man who wants 
it — and I’ll find a buyer as sure as I live. 
How much did you say you wanted for 
it?” I asked blandly. 

“Fifty grand — fifty thousand bucks,” the 
man with the flash told me, “and the 
quicker you get it for us, mister, the 
better.” 

“I’ll get to work in earnest to-day,” I 
assured him. “You’ll hear from me 
through Miss Tyler in a little while.” 

That closed the incident. The chauffeur 
conducted us down-stairs, and Nell and I 
got into the car again, to be driven back to 
Capitol Hill. 

Worth its weight in gold! Worth its 
weight in Christmas-tree tinsel, would be 
nearer the truth. Anyway, I had carried 
through my part of the enthusiastic agent 
who wanted to see what he was trading 
in. And I must admit that Nell’s mob 
did their part well, so far as their limita- 
tions would allow them. 

T HEY had had to secure the painting, 
at a cost of about fifteen dollars; that 
would cover the frame and the crate and 
all. The use of the abandoned warehouse 
they had no doubt appropriated. The 
closed cab they had hired, but the driver 
in all probability was one of them. 

By “limitations” I mean this: The 

spokesman of the outfit had used crook 
slang of a low order. He had spoken of 
“doing a lam,” which means making a get- 
away. And he had corrected himself too 
late when he called a thousand dollars a 
“grand.” The fact that this mob was of 
low mental order gave me a distinct ad- | 
vantage, it seemed to me. But I hadn’t 
counted on Nell. 

Riding back in the car, it occurred to 
me that I should show a natural interest 
in Nell and her connection with the men I 
had just encountered. Accordingly I said 
to her : 

“Nell, it seems queer that you should 
know men like those. Wherever did you 
run across them?” 

The question seemed to surprise her. 
“Why — why, I have a — a cousin who is a 
sort of a black sheep. Although I don’t 
in the least approve of what he does, I 
take an interest in him. It’s my way of 
keeping him in my care. I’ve made it my 
business to see that he keeps out of 
trouble, which means out of jail,” and she 
sighed. 

She was a darned clever actress, I told 
myself. Her answer would have satisfied 
any normal man of conventional habits. 
And that cousin — I felt sure that “cousin” 
was really her brother. 

The association of this woman and the 
man whom I believed to be her brother, 
who had a cultural appearance, like her- 
self, and this low' mob, could mean only 
one thing: the brother and Nell were the 
“brains” of the outfit, and the others were 
the underlings who did their bidding. 

Nell turned down my invitation to din- 
ner that night, pleading another engage- 
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brother and report to him what I had said 
and done. I learned later that there was 
another reason why she wouldn’t be with 
me that night. 

I went back to my hotel, the Old Na- 
tional. I killed about an hour reading in 
my room, then went down to dinner. The 
dining room was well filled, as it usually 
was between six and eight, for the Old 
National in those days was a popular eat- 
ing place. 

I WALK ED in, and saw no table vacant. 

But at a table for two, near the door, 
sat a man alone. He saw me, recognized 
the fact that I couldn’t find a table, and 
beckoned me over. 

“Join me here?** he asked. “That’s 
better than waiting for a table, isn’t it? 
I’m glad to have company/’ 

He was a man of about fifty-five, with 
white hair and powerful physique. He 
had a way of smiling that was genial and 
friendly. 

“Thank you,” I said. “Yes, I’ll sit right 
here.” 

He seemed relieved when I drew up the 
chair opposite him. 

“My card,” he said, and handed me a bit 
of pasteboard on which was printed : 
“John T. Mallinson, New York.” 

“Pleased to know you, Mr. Mallinson. 
My name’s Kendall.” 

That started the association. I had seen 
this man around the hotel for several days. 
And before that meal was over, I knew 
that he was in on the plan to fleece me. 

For a con man he used good methods, I 
knew. He had made our meeting casual. 
He had waited for a situation that would 
make it seem as inevitable that we would 
meet. 

I knew he was a con man in the scheme 
by one thing he said. He told me he was 
a retired silk merchant, spending all his 
time and plenty of money collecting works 
of art. “I’m in Washington now, I don’t 
mind telling you, Kendall, to see if I can’t 
get a line on that stolen Flintt.” 

This, then, was the “buyer”! 

From that time on the play moved to a 
swift conclusion. 

I telephoned to Nell immediately after 
dinner. “I’ve located a man who’ll pay a 
hundred thousand dollars for the picture,” 
I told her. That was true — to the extent 
that Mallinson had told me he would pay 
that price for the Flintt. “Yes, I told 
him I might be able to help him out, Nell.” 
“Then your chance to make yourself a 
fortune has come, Jim,” she said warmly. 
“You buy the painting from my cousin’s 
people, and sell it to your man for his 
price. You just double the money.” 

T HAT was the scheme. I was to give 
Nell’s mob fifty thousand dollars for 
the picture. I was to take it at once to 
sell to Mallinson. But — between the time 
the mob had my fifty thousand and the 
time I was to conclude the bargain with 
Mallinson, Nell and the mob and Mallin- 
son too would be on their way to Hong- 
kong, or some other distant point. Clever 
work, I had to concede them. 

Now it was up to me to outwit them, 
for my own profit. 

“I’ll see Mallinson again,” I told Nell 
over the phone. “He’s my buyer. If he 
can arrange to have his money to-morrow, 
we’ll carry it through before sundown.” 


I heard her rippling laugh as she hung 
up the receiver. 

Nell had had no engagement for that 
evening. And she wouldn’t consent to go 
anywhere with me, for she wanted the 
mob’s man at the National to make my 
acquaintance that night, if possible. And 
so it had turned out. 

Later that evening I met Mallinson in 
the lobby of the hotel. He sat smoking a 
cigar and reading a newspaper. I walked 
over to him and sat down in the chair next 
to his. 

“Mr. Mallinson,” I began, talking under 
my hand in the way boobs talk when they 
want their words to reach one pair of ears 
and one only, “I know positively that I 
can get the picture you are after ” 

He beamed. “Great work, young man. 
When can you get it?” 

“That depends on you,” I said. “In 
order to show me you mean business, will 
you advance me fifty thousand on ac- 
count ?” 

“You must think I’m crazy. You get 
the painting. If it’s genuine, I’ll pay my 
price. Here — look this over,” and he took 
from his coat pocket a bank book and a 
book of blank checks. 

The book showed that John T. Mallin- 
son had on deposit with the Gates Trust 
Company, in New York, close to two hun- 
dred thousand dollars. That didn’t mean 
a thing to me, because I knew that he 
could get a blank deposit book and could 
fill in any figures he wished. I’ve done h 
myself. 

“That satisfy you?” he asked 

“IT does — and it doesn’t, Mr. Mallinson.” 
1 I was leading up to my big play. 
“You must know that I’m taking as big a 
risk as you in this. The people who have 
the picture want cash money in payment. 
They’re asking a hundred thousand.” He 
knew this was a lie, but he could not give 
away his hand. “Will you go half-way 
with me?” I asked him then. “I’ll put up 
fifty thousand dollars, cash. You want the 
picture. You ought to be willing to put 
up as much as I. Remember, I’m not 
making a thing on this. I’m trusting to 
you for that. Anyway, when I deliver 
the painting to you, you can give me the 
remaining fifty thousand. I’m risking my 
fifty thousand on the fact that the picture 
may not be genuine — in which case I lose 
entirely.” 

He remained silent while he took two 
deep inhalations on his cigar Then: 
“That’s fair enough,” he said. “When can 
you have your fifty thousand — and when 
can I have the painting?” 

“I’ll have my money by eleven o’clock 
to-morrow morning,” I told him. “And 
I’ll do what I can to get you the painting 
by noon to-morrow.” I knew well enough 
that he would see that I did get the paint- 
ing any time I wanted it. 

“All right,” he said. “You have your 
money here by eleven. I’ll do likewise. 
An original Flintt! Well — well,” and I 
left him rubbing his hands, playing his 
part through to the end. 

I said I w f ould have fifty thousand dol- 
lars, in cash, by eleven o’clock the next 
day. When I made that statement, I had 
just sixty-seven dollars and a few cents. 
Yet I knew I would have the money — and 
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103 


True Detective Mysteries 


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Now, there are certain men in many 
large cities who make a business of loan- 
ing “flash rolls.” In Washington, at that 
time, was Mike Dunn. Mike had been a 
con man himself, and, like few of them, he 
had held on to “his” money. And con men 
known to him, could go and borrow an 
amount of money, for an hour, three 
hours, two days. No collateral was 
needed. You asked for it, told how long 
you wanted it, gave a brief word outline 
of what you wanted it for, and got it. 

I knew Mike through Gil Hawkins. 
Any friend of Gil could have what Mike 
had. And when a man in the underworld 
says that, he means just that. 

Mike asked no collateral, yet he exacted 
a collateral more rigid than is demanded 
by any bank — personal accounting to him. 
Let a man borrow a sum of money and 
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of the District of Columbia. 

E ARLY the following morning I called 
Nell on the telephone. She had been 
told I would call, no doubt, for she fell in 
with what I proposed. I asked her to 
meet me at the Old National about eleven 
o’clock, and to be prepared to take me to 
get the painting. She agreed to do it. 

Then I set out for Mike’s place. Ex- 
actly where it was located, has no place 
in this narrative. Mike’s successor might 
not relish the idea if I told. Let it be 
enough to say that Mike did business in a 
basement, under a store, on Pennsylvania 
Avenue. 

“Mike,” I said to him, “I’m a pal of Gil 
Hawkins, and ” 

“Yeh, you’re Jim Kendall,” came from 
between his thick lips. He was short in 
build, but he had an eye of steel. 

I marveled at the man’s memory, for it 
was six years at least since I had seen 
him, or he me. 

“I want a flash roll, fifty grand,” I told 
him, then went into a casual description of 
a play I had on “to take a sucker.” 

“Two hours is all I want it for,” I con- 
cluded. 

“All right.” That was all. He went to 
a safe built into a wall, and counted out 
five bills of ten-thousand-dollar denomina- 
tion. No demur. No questions. I knew 
what it meant if I failed to return the 
money on time. I knew, too, that he would 
charge about twenty per cent, for the 
“rental.” And he knew that I understood. 

I put the money into my pocket, and 
hired a cab to drive me down to the Old 
National. As I got into the cab, I saw a 
tall man going into Mike’s basement. 
Something about him made me take a 
second look. It was his hands — hairy, 
heavy hands they were. Then I remem- 
bered. The driver of Nell’s closed car 
had hands like those. But the man’s back 
was to me, and by this time I was inside 
the cab, so I couldn't tell for sure whether 
or not this was the same man. But it 
would be like the mob to go to Mike for 
their flash roll, too. In that case, I meant 
that they should be in for a peck of trouble 
when it came their turn to repay Mike. 



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"Fifteen 


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It was a few minutes before eleven 
when I arrived at the hotel. Nell was 
waiting for me. I sat down and talked 
with her a few minutes, then went up to 
my room. After five minutes or so I 
called up Mallinson’s room. “Ready for 
you,” he told me. 

“I’ll be right up,” and I went directly 
to his room. 

“Here you are,” he said, and took from 
a drawer of a desk ten bills of five thou- 
sand dollars each. I thought he was ab- 
rupt, but a moment’s reflection told me he 
was impatient, anxious to get his part 
over with. 

{ COUNTED the money, and examined 
it. To all of my belief it was genuine. 
The fact that he possibly had got it from 
Mike Dunn would reassure me, in any 
case. 

I showed him my fifty thousand, then 
placed it with his into a man i la envelope, 
which I sealed. While Mallinson watched 
me, I put it in the inside pocket of my 
coat. 

“Come with me if you like,” I said, 
knowing that he wouldn’t, but feeling safe 
in giving this final touch of the character 
I was playing. 

“I’ll go down-stairs with you,” he told 
me, and suited his word to his action. 

When we reached the lobby of the hotel, 

I watched carefully to see if Mallinson 
would show any signs of recognizing Nell, 
or she him. Nothing like this passed be- 
tween them, however. I knew that they 
were primed for this meeting, and being 
forewarned, they were on their guard. 

I introduced the pair, Mallinson as a 
“friend” significantly, and Nell as the one 
who would take me to “success.” 

“Are we ready?” I asked Nell, and 
when she nodded, we started out. 

At the curb was the same closed auto- 
mobile, the same hairy-handed driver at 
the wheel. Nell and I got in, and the cab 
drove away. 

To a casual person not familiar with 
the ways of confidence men, it would be 
fair to wonder why the mob didn’t stop 
me somewhere on the way and hold me up 
for the money I had on me. The answer 
would be that that w r ould represent crude 
work. They were sure of themselves — 
sure that I would go to the warehouse and 
get the painting, delivering to them the 
money they wanted, plus the money Mal- 
linson had “advanced.” 

I was sure, too, that not for a moment 
was I out of sight of several of the mob. 
They were trailing the cab to the ware- 
house. It would be like their leader to set 
a shadow on the car we used, fearful lest 
the driver of it try to double-cross the 
mob and get away with all the money 
himself. 

The cab drew to a stop. As before, the 
driver got out and held the door open. I 
made no move to leave. 

“Nell,” I said, “I’ll wait here. Take 
this,” and I handed her an envelope. “You 
get the picture, and I’ll wait for you.” 
“But, Jim,” she protested, “you ought to 
come up and carry out this business your- 
self. I can’t ” 

“Listen,” I whispered, leaning close. 
“These people know you, you know them. 
I don’t know them — with apologies to you. 
They wouldn’t do you any injury, but they 
might try it on me. Go ahead now. I’m 


trusting you with the money. There’s fifty 
thousand dollars in that envelope ” 

S HE took the envelope, and disappeared 
inside the house. It would take her a 
minute to get up-stairs, take the men up 
there that time to open the envelope and 
find out that it contained only newspaper. 
In that minute I had to act quickly. I had 
handed her an envelope ; the envelope was 
still in my coat pocket. 

The driver came back to the car, and 
took his place at the wheel. As he walked 
across the sidewalk, I saw him glance be- 
hind us, and nod. I knew for a certainty 
then that we had been trailed, and by 
another car. 

I whipped a gun from my coat pocket, 
and with my left hand I pulled up the 
blind at the front of the car. 

“Drive like hell !” I said, placing the 
point of the gun through the front win- 
dow, left partly open on purpose so that 
the driver could hear what Nell and I had 
said. 

The move took him by surprise. He 
hesitated only a fraction of a second, while 
he thought no doubt that he was safe, since 
the car behind would head him off. He 
threw in the clutch and the car started 
away. 

I turned like a flash, and threw up 
the curtain at the rear of the car. Taking 
only a fraction of a second to get my bear- 
ings and aim, I fired two shots through the 
window of the car, at a car that was be- 
hind us, within twenty feet. I know that 
one of my shots at least took effect, for a 
loud, secondary report told me I had 
punctured one of the tires of the machine 
behind. 

Fearing that the driver had taken out a 
gun and would have time to cover me, I 

turned again and 

Evidently he was unarmed. If he had 
a weapon, he was too rattled to use it. 

I pressed the point of the gun at the 
back of his neck. “Drive — and give it all 
you’ve got ! You’ll get a slug at the first 
sign of funny work. I don’t make a threat 
I can’t carry out,” and I gave the gun a 
thrust to punctuate my words. 

We turned into a side street — down this 
for a block, then into a main avenue. I 
saw then that we were far over in South 
East Washington. On we tore, the 
speedometer mounting by jerks and 
bounds. 

Then like a thunderbolt came disaster. 
The only way I had of accounting for 
what happened was that the driver lost 
his nerve. I saw only that we were head- 
ing straight for a tree on the side of the 
avenue. Then came a crash that could be 
heard for a dozen blocks — I was hurled 
violently against the frame of the front 
window, striking the top of my head on 
the metal framework. After that — 
oblivion. 

The last conscious thought I had was 
of the hundred thousand dollars in my 
pocket — and of what would happen if I 
failed to get his money back to Mike on 
time. 

With young Kendall facing the loss 
of his money, possibly his life — 
what will the outcome be? You can- 
not afford to miss the next breathless 
instalment of this forceful story, in 
August True Detective Mysteries, 
on the news-stands July 15th. Order 
your copy now! 






I 



Give this picture a title. $1000 in prizes 


*1000 

FOR TITLES TO 
THIS BLACK 
JACK PICTURE 

8 cash prizes will 
be paid as follows 

1st Prize $500 

2nd Prize 250 

3rd Prize 100 

4th Prize 50 

5th to 8th Prizes 

($25 each) 100 

Here's fun for every member 
of the family. This picture 
needs a title. Perhaps chew- 
ing Black Jack and enjoying 
its good old licorice flavor, 
although not a condition of 
this contest, will help you to 
find the winning title that 
fully expresses the story this 
picture tells. Everybody re- 
siding in the United States 
or Canada is eligible except 
employees of the manufac- 
turers of Black Jack Chew- 
ing Gum. 

RULES 

1: Each entry must contain 
a title suggestion in 20 words 
or less and the name and ad- 
dress of the sender. 2: Con- 
testants may submit as many 
answers as they wish. When 
sending in suggested titles 
white paper cut the size of a 
Blackjack wrapper(2^ , x3 l ), 
or the reverse side of Black 
Jack wrappers may be used. 
Use one piece of paper or 
one wrapper for each title 
suggested. 3 s All entries 
for this contest must be sent 
to “Black Jack Titles", 
Dept. 8. American Chicle 
Company, Long Island City, 
New York, and must be in 
before midnight, Aug. 22, 
1927. Winners to be an- 
nounced as soon thereafter 
as possible. 4 : Titles 
must be sent first class mail, 
postage prepaid. 5: Origi- 
nality of thought, cleverness 
of idea, and clearness of ex- 
pression and neatness will 
count. 6 s The judges will 
be a committee appointed 
by the makers of Black Jack 
and their decisions will be 
final. If there arc ties, each 
tying contestant will be 
awarded the prize tied for. 

Study the picture. Think of 
Black Jack's delicious lico- 
rice flavor. Then send in 
your title or titles. Contest 
closes at midnight, Aug. 22, 
1927. 


At**